Leadership Handbook


by Bradd Shore

Upon assuming the Presidency of the SPA in 1999, I discovered that I knew very little about how the organization actually functioned, and that I was captaining a ship of whose operations I was largely ignorant. A great deal of my time was initially spent contacting former leaders of the society and trying to figure out how the society actually ran. I made a number of mistakes in the first months due largely to my ignorance of my duties and my deadlines.

Eventually, it dawned on me that all this trouble was largely unnecessary and that assembling a Leadership Handbook would be a very good priority for my Presidency. It is with great pleasure and considerable debt to my colleagues in the SPA that I conclude my term as President by handing over to the incoming President, Geoffrey White, the first edition of The SPA Leadership Handbook. Hopefully it will ease his transition to office and free up his time for moving ahead with important SPA business.

This handbook represents the joint efforts of many individuals who contributed their time and expertise in drafting, reviewing and editing the various sections. The Handbook is an important tool for ensuring the continuity of the functioning of the SPA by acting as a collective memory of the norms, selection procedures, deadlines and responsibilities involved in the many leadership positions that govern the SPAÕs various activities. As such it serves as a pragmatic companion to our Bylaws. Because it is a handbook for carrying out the day-to-day activities of the many leadership roles that make the SPA work, it should be subject to periodic revision, addition and update.

I would like to thank the following individuals without whose work this Handbook could not have been produced: Lee Munroe, Geoffrey White, Doug Hollan, Carmella Moore, Kevin Birth, Holly Matthews, Sara Harkness, Naomi Quinn, April Leininger, Keith McNeal, Stephen Leavitt, Alex Hinton, David Spain, Marida Hollos, Tanya Luhrmann, Kathy Ewing and Suzanne Kirschner.

Bradd Shore
October 1, 2001


The President of the Society for Psychological Anthropology is the chief executive officer for the S.P.A. and has the primary responsibility for overseeing the direction and the operations of the Society. The President presides over the S.P.A. Board of Directors that acts as the policy-making organ of the Society and advises the President on all important matters concerning S.P.A. policy and functioning.


The SPA President is elected by written ballot by Members of the Society for Psychological Anthropology from a slate of two candidates selected by the SPA Board from a list of potential nominees assembled by the SPA Nominating Committee. There is no restriction on an individual serving more than one term as SPA President, although this is not common practice. Upon election, the successful candidate becomes President-Elect of the SPA and a member of the SPA Board.


The President Elect serves under the current SPA President for two years before assuming the two-year term as SPA President. The President-Elect’s specific responsibilities are as a member of the Board and, traditionally, to serve on the Nominating Committee. The President will normally consult the President-Elect on all important policy issues and make sure that the President-Elect is prepared to assume the office of President. Should the President be unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the office, the President-Elect will assume the powers and responsibilities of the President.


The President of the Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) has general responsibility for

  • Long-term planning for SPA Development
  • Developing and maintaining relations with other AAA sections
  • Promoting Psychological Anthropology within anthropology and beyond Anthropology in allied disciplines as a schiolarly discipline and a teaching endeavor.
  • Building membership.
  • Reaching out to other disciplines through joint and cooperative activities.
  • Maintaining communications with society members by using, maintaining and developing e-mail lists, the Society’s list serve, the Society’s website and the AAA newsletter column
  • Doing an Annual Report for the American Anthropological Association each January.
  • Representing the Society for Psychological Anthropology at the AAA Section Assembly Meetings and by maintaining contacts with the AAA Executive Office.
  • Helping the secretary-treasurer prepare the SPA annual budget.
  • Communicating with the SPA Board, other officers, and committee heads to maintain good communication and make sure that regular operations are in order.
  • Helping prepare the President-Elect to assume the SPA Presidency.


The SPA President is responsible for organizing, producing agendas for and presiding over all Board, Business and Biennial Meetings of the SPA, in consultation with the Board and with the General Membership. The regular meeting schedule is as follows:

  1. Regular Board Meeting (2-3 hours) at each Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association generally held prior to the Annual Business Meeting.
  2. Second Board Meeting at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association is sometimes held on the day following the Annual Business Meeting. This second Board meeting is especially important in those years when there is no SPA Biennial Meeting.
  3. An Annual Meeting of the SPA General Membership held during the Annual AAA Meetings, usually on a Thursday or Friday afternoon for approximately 1 1/2 hours (exact time is decided each year by the President in consultation with the Board). General Meetings are run by the President and include announcements from the President and Board or from the floor, general discussion of issues and usually a formal presentation of the Boyer Prize and brief remarks by the winner. On alternate years when the current SPA President retires, the handing over of the Presidency to the President-Elect occurs at the Business Meeting after brief remarks by the outgoing President.
  4. Scheduling of meeting times and rooms for Business and Board Meetings at the AAA Annual Meetings is done through AAA Meeting Services that send out a request form for the President to fill in 6-7 months before the Annual Meeting. If a form is not received by February, the President should contact AAA Meeting Services to make sure reservation requests are in.
  5. The Biennial Meeting is held on alternate years at a location of the President’s choosing. This meeting generally lasts for three full days and includes
    • A Board Meeting
    • An Awards and Recognition Banquet
    • A Distinguished Speaker
    • Numerous panel sessions

The locale, theme and particular organization of the meetings is the primary responsibility of the SPA Current President and the President is free in choosing how to organize the meeting. Some have organized it by themselves, others with more or less help from the Board and Membership. The President may also choose to constitute an ad hoc planning committee to help with the organization. The President also nominates individuals to deliver the Distinguished Address and to receive the SPA Lifetime Achievement Award. They do not have to be the same individual.

The Planning for the Biennial Meeting is the most complex responsibility of the President, and needs to be begun 12-18 months before the meeting date, which is generally in September or October before the AAA Annual Meetings. Contracts with airlines, hotels and meeting facilities, as well as general announcements about the Meeting and Meeting Registration are done by AAA Meeting Services in cooperation with the SPA President.


The SPA President is the Society’s primary liaison with the AAA. Infrequently this will involve communications with the AAA President or Executive Director. More frequently, contacts are made through the AAA Sections Liaison, Head of Membership Services, Head of Public Relations, or a representative from AAA Meeting Services.

The SPA President is responsible for providing the Section Liaison at AAA with an updated list of SPA Officers, Board Members and Members of SPA Standing Committees and their contact information.


Each January 1, an Annual Report to the AAA is due from the SPA President for use by the Executive Board, The Long-Range Planning Committee and the AAA Staff. The report is 1-2 single-spaced pages in length and covers the period from the end of one AAA Annual Meeting through the end of the following AAA Annual Meeting. The Report comprises a review of the SPA’s activities during the reporting period and any plans for the coming year. The report should indicate any plans and activities that coordinate with the AAA’s Long-Range Plan. The Report should include names and e-mail addresses of the people who were committee members, leaders and SPA officers for the reporting period. The report should be sent electronically to lvanolst@aaanet.org.


The President, along with the SPA Treasurer and in consultation with the Board, is responsible for preparing and submitting to the AAA an annual budget showing planned income (membership dues, meeting income, sales of publications, special projects) and expenses (publications, operations, meetings, special projects) for the next year. The President and Treasurer are sent regular budget statements by the AAA. The President is responsible for judicious management of the budget and for allocating special outlays of money as well as dealing with long and short-term budget deficits.


In cooperation with the Board, the SPA President is responsible for appointing members and heads of SPA Standing Committees, ad hoc committees certain important appointed offices and making sure that these committees are carrying out their functions properly.

The Standing Committees and their organization are listed below.

Nominating Committee:

  • Three year staggered membership
  • Three members
  • Senior member heads committees.

Boyer Prize Committee:

  • Prize given every year.
  • Three year staggered membership
  • Three members
  • Senior member heads committee.

Stirling Prize Committee:

  • Prize given every other year at the Biennial Meeting.
  • Six-year staggered terms.
  • Three members.
  • One new member appointed every other year.
  • Senior member heads committee.

Condon Prize Committee:

  • Prize given every year.
  • Three year staggered terms
  • Three members
  • Senior member heads committee.

SPA Appointed Leadership Positions

The President, in cooperation with the Board, is responsible for filling the following leadership positions by nominating and recruiting the best possible individuals to fill the jobs:

  • Secretary-Treasurer (4 year term)
  • Newsletter Editor (4 year term)
  • Student member to Board (2 year term)
  • Electronic Media Editor (4 year term)
  • Editor of Ethos (5 year term)
  • SPA Book Series Editor (4 year term)



  • Send memo to Board and Membership soliciting new business for upcoming AAA Meetings
  • Biennial Meeting (alternate years)
  • Make sure nominating committee is preparing a slate of nominees for Board and President-Elect (alternate years)


  • Prepare agendas for AAA Board and Business Meetings
  • Run Board and Business Meetings at AAA Meetings.
  • Discuss and finalize nominees for Spring elections (alternate years)
  • President-Elect assumes Presidency (alternate years)
  • President attends Section Assembly Meeting at AAA Meetings


  • Initiate Board discussions about replacements for retired committee members and for any leadership positions that will come vacant in the next year. Propose or solicit nominations.
  • Prepare Annual Report.


  • January 1 deadline for submission of Annual Report to AAA.
  • Budget preparation
  • Jan. 31. Nomination materials Due to AAA in years of SPA General elections (alternate years)


  • Send in room and time requests for Board and Business Meetings for upcoming AAA Meetings.


  • Spring Section Assembly Meeting in Washington, DC
  • Start arranging venue for Biennial Meetings for 1 1/2 years hence. Set up planning process for Biennial.
The SPA Board of Directors is the Society’s principal policymaking body. Elected members of the Board have the broadest responsibility for managing SPA affairs. They provide advice, oversight and leadership.

Each elected board member serves a four-year term during which he or she is expected to be actively involved. Active involvement includes regular attendance at board meetings and chairing or participating in key committees. Beyond these basic roles, elected board members may also develop or assist with new initiatives as opportunities arise.


Participation begins with attendance at the annual board meeting, where policy is discussed and decisions made through board vote. When a candidate stands for election he or she also commits to attending board meetings throughout the four-year term. The importance of this is stated in the by-laws that state that members who miss more than two meetings may be removed from office.


The duties of elected board members are less specific than those of appointed members who manage particular tasks, such as Ethos, the newsletter, book series, or website. The duties of elected members will vary by President and by issues facing the Society at any particular time.

Recurring roles for elected board members include serving on or chairing two standing committees of the Board: the AAA Program Committee and the Nominations Committee. Each year the Program Committee oversees SPA contributions to the AAA meeting agenda. Every two years the Nominations Committee coordinates nominations for the election of President-Elect and two Board Members. The President will invite Board Members to serve on these committees, typically asking an elected Member to chair the Program Committee, and the current President-Elect to chair the Nominations Committee.

The secretary-treasurer (ST) is a voting member of the SPA board of directors and works closely with the SPA president and other board members to accomplish the society’s business. In addition, the ST has three major responsibilities (the details of which are outlined below


First, the ST is the main fulcrum of communication between: a., the SPA president, president-elect, and the SPA board of directors and committee members; b., the SPA board of directors and the general membership of the society; c., the SPA and the AAA; and d., the SPA and members of the public at large (including other anthropologists who may not be members of the AAA or SPA, editors and/or publishers of the society’s award winning books and publications, deans and department chairs at academic institutions, graduate and undergraduate students, and generally, with anyone with might have a question to ask the SPA). The ST uses all means of communication to accomplish this job including electronic mail, hard mail, fax, telephone, and in person communication.

NOTE: In the past five years electronic mail has become increasingly more important to the society at all levels of communication. In late 1994, only about half of SPA board and committee members were on email, whereas, by the end of 1998, all of the board and committee members were on email. By 1999, a list server was set up for communicating with and among the general membership. SPA business that used to take days or weeks to resolve by hard mail can now be addressed much more rapidly by the board, and on the whole more members, including those who reside outside of the U.S., can be active participants in the society.

Second, in conjunction with the SPA president and board of directors, the ST plans and submits the annual budget to the AAA, and receives and monitors a monthly budget report sent out by the AAA. The ST is also responsible for gathering reimbursement requests from those who may require them and submitting these requests in writing with appropriate documentation to the AAA.

Third, the ST is the main historian of the society and has the responsibility of keeping and maintaining all records (in both hard copy and electronic form) for the society. The records include (among other items): minutes of the society’s board and business meetings, lists of the society’s present and past board and committee members with their terms of service, brief progress reports from board members on their various tasks, and lists of the society’s various prize winners.


The ST is appointed by the SPA president and board of directors, and generally serves a four year term in office. Unlike other appointed SPA board positions, the SPA bi-laws permit the SPA board to reappoint the same person to serve a second, consecutive four year term should the board decide to do so. During the course of the term, the ST will work with three SPA presidents. (The first year of the ST’s term will be the final term year of one president; the second and third year’s of the term correspond to a full term of a new president, i.e., the former president-elect; and the final year of the ST’s term will coincide with the first year of another new president’s term.)

The ST assumes office at the general business meeting of the SPA held during the annual meeting of the AAA, which normally occurs in Nov. or Dec. of a year. Note, however, that the years of the ST’s term are marked or counted from the beginning of the new year, or January, but actually proceed from Nov./Dec. to Nov./Dec. four years later. There is no specific oath of office or official procedure for taking office. Normally, the new ST assumes the office after the outgoing ST has been thanked for their service and the new ST is introduced to the membership. This process could occur at either the beginning or end of the business meeting. If it does occur at the beginning of the business meeting, then it is the new ST’s responsibility to assume minute taking for the remainder of the meeting. Special attention should be paid to taking minutes on suggestions from the membership regarding upcoming topics for invited sessions at the next AAA meeting, as well as the SPA biennial meeting when appropriate.

Both the president and outgoing ST help to orient the new ST to the job. The new ST attends any SPA board meetings that are held during the annual meeting. If the board holds a meeting at the AAA prior to the ST’s assumption of office, the ST (along with other new board members and/or officers) attends the board meeting as a guest, and the responsibilities of minute taking remain with the old ST. The new ST assumes full minute taking responsibilities at their first board meeting after taking office.

There is no formal procedure for thanking officers, board members, or others who have served the SPA. However, an informal custom has developed of giving a gift to the outgoing president and the outgoing ST. Purchasing the gift for the president is the responsibility of the ST (in conjunction with ideas from the board), and purchasing the gift for the ST is the responsibility of the president. The gift does not have to be expensive, and in general, is more a token of appreciation for service. Examples of past gifts include books and jewelry, but the gift could be a plaque or any token of appreciation that is appropriate for a given person. The price of the gift can be legitimately charged to the society, and may be taken from the ST’s budget or miscellaneous funds.


Monthly Ongoing Tasks:

  1. Monitor SPA budget as reported from the AAA. Simply review the document and make sure everything seems in order, and no mistakes in accounting have been made. Call anything that looks odd to the attention of the president, who also receives a copy of the monthly budget report.
  2. Answer any letters or inquiries that are received. Depending on how these are received, they may be answered by hard mail or email.
  3. Perform any tasks the president requires in preparation with the SPA biennial meeting.

January — February

  1. Prepare a directory of all SPA officers, board members, and new committee members that includes names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and term designations. (This information is usually gathered from appropriate persons at the AAA meeting in Nov./Dec. of the preceding year.) Send copies to all persons on the directory, and to the AAA. It is the joint decision of the president and ST whether these should be hard mail or electronic copies. Send an electronic copy to the SPA-Web site manager for posting. Establish an email list for board members, and perhaps separate email lists for committee members.
  2. Write (hard copy) letters to outgoing board members and committee members thanking them for their service to the society. Inquire whether they might need a letter to their deans or chairs reporting their service to the society, and write letter if appropriate.
  3. Write letters welcoming new board and committee members to the society that explain their terms of service and their responsibilities. Include the directory, the SPA bi-laws, and any other relevant information they may need to do their job, such as copies of the standard prize announcements (if they are on a prize judging committee, etc.), and committee work requirements. Ask board and committee members to keep in close touch and to report their whereabouts should they have plans to leave the country for fieldwork especially during vacations or sabbaticals.
  4. Contact the SPA-AN editor at the beginning of Dec. or at the latest the beginning of January to make sure prize announcements are planned for the SPA column. Copy usually must be submitted six weeks prior to publication. The latest for prize announcements to appear is the Feb. issue. (although they can also appear subsequent to Feb.).
  5. Contact the SPA Program Committee for the AAA annual meeting, and make sure they are in the process of soliciting proposals and abstracts from SPA members for the AAA annual meeting. Keep in close touch with this committee, as they will have to submit proposals to the AAA for SPA invited, organized, and volunteered sessions during the March-April period in line with AAA deadlines. It is the responsibility of the Program Committee to submit appropriate paperwork to the AAA in accordance with AAA deadlines.
  6. In conjunction with the SPA president, submit appropriate paperwork to the AAA for nominations and elections to the SPA board. This generally occurs on an every two year basis when elections for president-elect and two board members are held. Incidentally, the AAA has noted that candidates who submit pictures with their paperwork have a better chance of being elected than those who don’t.
  7. Contact the Ethos Editor/s and remind them of the names of new board members so that the title page of Ethos with SPA information can be appropriately changed in a timely manner. This can be done when the Ethos editor is sent their copy of the new yearly directory or separately.

March — April

  1. Begin preparations for the AAA meeting according to the schedule set by the AAA, and in conjunction with the SPA president. It is the ST’s responsibility to fill out AAA forms for the society requesting special events scheduling and to return the form to the AAA. These events include scheduling all board meetings (normally, either one or two) and the annual business meeting held during the AAA meeting. When two board meetings are held during the AAA meeting, the usual schedule is: board meeting, general business meeting, board meeting.
    1. At the time of scheduling these events, the ST also needs to order refreshments for the board meetings (appropriate for the time of day the meeting is held, and can include breakfast, lunch, or dinner charged to the society), and to decide in conjunction with the president whether to order a no host bar for the general business meeting. (Note: for many years the society did have a no host bar at the general business meeting, but during the presidency of Robert Munroe it was eliminated because so few members attended the business meeting that it cost more than it was worth. However, this should be evaluated on a year by year basis in light of how many members the president thinks will attend the meeting.)
    2. In scheduling events with the AAA, the ST needs to keep in mind events from other societies that may conflict with SPA events, and ask, particularly for the SPA general business meeting, that other events not conflict. Other societies with overlapping membership with the SPA include Cultural Anthropology, and the Society for Medical Anthropology. The American Ethnological Society also has a certain overlapping membership with the SPA, but they are so large, their request usually predominates.

April — May 

  1. Begin to contact the SPA prize committees; submitted papers to the Condon prize (annual basis) and to the Stirling Prize (biennial basis) are usually due around May 30. Submissions are sent to the ST, and it is the ST’s job to make sure submissions are in conformity with the current rules. The ST sends submissions (without authors names) to the appropriate committee, and monitors the committee’s progress in making prize decisions.
  2. Remind the Boyer prize committee that it is their task to establish a short list of eligible entries by mid-June.

May — June 

  1. In conjunction with the SPA president and discussions of the SPA board at the previous annual meeting (of Nov./Dec.), begin to prepare the SPA budget for submission to the AAA. The official budget for the forthcoming year is due about June 30. The budget has to include all categories of income and spending from the most trivial to the most important. These include items like the annual cost of producing Ethos, including expenses for the editors, allocation of prize monies, estimated income from membership dues and royalties, and all the regular as well as special spending that may go on in a given year. The ST does their best to estimate the cost of these expenses, and prepares the budget for submission to AAA. It is good to let the president review the proposed budget before submission, and it should actually be prepared in close conjunction with the president.

July — August

  1. During this period the ST needs to use their judgment in keeping in close touch with the SPA prize committees to remind them and press them for prize decisions. Ideally, all prizes should be awarded at the end of August or beginning of September at the latest, but this is variable. What needs to be kept in mind (and what committees need to be reminded of) is that award recipients need time to plan their trips to appropriate meetings to receive their prizes, and this has to include at least a one-month leeway time at the minimum. Remember also that some prize winners may come from overseas (or outside the U.S.) and so may need more time to plan their trips. It is an important goal of the society to have recipients at the meetings to receive their prizes, so that appropriate attention may be called to their awards. The schedule for awarding various prizes is as follows:
    1. Condon prize — awarded to an undergraduate paper every year at either the biennial SPA meeting banquet or the general business meeting of the SPA held at the AAA annual meeting. The prize includes travel funds to the meeting which the ST has to arrange.
    2. Boyer prize — awarded every year to the most outstanding paper or monograph length work in psychoanalytic anthropology, and presented at the annual business meeting of the society held at the AAA meeting. ST needs the social security number of the recipient, as well as their address to give to the AAA in order to prepare a check to be presented at the meeting.
    3. Stirling prize — awarded every two years at the banquet of the SPA biennial meeting. The ST needs the social security number of the recipient, as well as their address to give to the AAA in order to prepare a check to be presented at the meeting.

    NOTE: checks can always be arranged after the formal presentation of the award, but this is really not desirable, as it is nice to present the award recipient with the actual check for their award at the time of presentation and recognition.

  2. Toward the end of August, notify the SPA nominations committee of the need to be considering any upcoming nominations the society may need along with appropriate requirements. In election years, this includes nominations for the offices of president-elect (for which six nominations are required by the SPA bi-laws), as well as nominations for two board positions. The nominations committee should also provide the SPA board suggestions for nominations for the various prize committees as vacancies become open.
    1. General guidelines for prize committee appointments: for the Condon committee, members should have a close relationship to undergraduate anthropology education. For the Boyer committee, members should have expertise in psychoanalytic anthropology. For the Stirling committee members should be outstanding SPA members of scholarly distinction.

September — October 

This is a busy of time of year for the ST as the ST must begin preparations for the annual SPA meeting at the AAA, as well as the biennial meeting in years when that is held. The following is a general outline of what must be done.

  1. For upcoming board meetings of the SPA: prepare minutes of previous board meetings and take copies to the board meetings; in conjunction with the president, prepare agendas for upcoming board meetings and distribute appropriately before the board meeting and at the board meeting (take revised agenda copies to meetings); prepare budget report for business meeting and/or board meetings.
  2. In conjunction with the SPA president, prepare an annual report of the society’s activities to be read at the general business meeting of the society held during the AAA annual meeting and to be submitted to the AAA. The report should be prepared in accordance with any rules or requirements that come from the AAA, and should detail all of the society’s activities in the previous year including: the activities of the committees in relation to prize awards, the activities of the journal Ethos, including the number of submissions and the disposition of submissions, the activities of the program committee, the activities of the Newsletter Editor, the activities of the book board with a report on their disposition of submissions and solicitations, a report on the biennial meeting when appropriate including attendance and the program, any other activity the society has engaged in, and anything else the AAA would like included in the report. The report should be read a loud at the general business meeting of the SPA held during the AAA annual meeting, and copies should be distributed to the membership as well as submitted to the AAA.
  3. Prepare an “information directory form” to take to the board meeting and to distribute to board members. Collect any information necessary for preparing the new board directory.
  4. Write letters of congratulations to SPA prize winners informing them of the details of their award and when the award will be presented. Write follow up letters to the chairs or deans of their departments informing them of the society’s award. Also, inform publishers of book length manuscripts when this is appropriate (i.e., particularly for the Boyer Award). In addition, write letters of information to those who submitted papers but did not win awards (i.e., for Condon and Stirling Prizes).

November — December

  1. Attend the board meetings and general business meetings of the society during the AAA meeting and/or the biennial meeting. Prepare documents for distribution (agendas; directory form; minutes to board; budget report to board and membership; annual report to membership, board, and AAA; and any other necessary materials) and bring to meetings.
  2. Attend AAA treasurers’ meeting at the annual AAA meeting. This meeting is for treasurers’ of the societies and is usually a breakfast meeting held on Saturday morning (although the ST should check time) of the AAA meeting. (The ST usually receives a written letter of invitation from the AAA detailing the time and place of the meeting.) During the meeting the AAA outlines the general procedures for treasurers including the schedule for preparing the budget and requirements for requesting reimbursements.(At times the society has discussed separating the office of the secretary from the office of the treasurer, but in the past the SPA has always decided against this, primarily on the grounds that there is not enough treasury work for a separate officer. Some units of the American Anthropological Association do separate the two offices, and this may still be something the SPA would want to consider in the future, particularly should the membership of the society grow substantially.)

Summary and comment

The SPA ST, in conjunction with the president and board of directors, is involved in all aspects of accomplishing the business of the SPA and in representing the SPA to its membership and the general public. The ST does all tasks, beyond those outlined above, requested by the president and the board of directors. There are a number of specifics involved with the job, as can be seen from the preceding account (the dates of which may have to be checked against current practices and requirements). Although some of the work may seem tedious, the business of the society cannot be accomplished without the dedicated efforts of the ST, and this work is very important to the society. The main reward of the job is the opportunity not only to represent the society, but also to interact with its members and the public at large at all levels.

In the twenty year history of the society (1979 – 2001), previous secretary-treasurers have included: Richard Shweder, Sara Harkness, Susan Seymour, Carmella C. Moore, and Teresa O’Nell, among others.

The SPA student representative sits on the SPA board for a two-year term. The student representative’s primary responsibilities are to represent student interests and concerns to the SPA and to promote both the SPA and psychological anthropology among students.


  • The student representative attends all SPA board meetings and business meetings annually at the AAA meetings and biennially at the SPA meetings. This means that the student representative is required to attend SPA board and business meetings on four occasions: the two annual AAA meetings and the one SPA biennial that take place during the student representative’s term
  • The student representative represents student concerns to the SPA board and membership.
  • The student representative helps promote student participation in SPA.


  • The student representative’s SPA meeting attendance is subsidized; attendance at AAA is partially subsidized.
  • In the past, the student representative has represented student concerns to the SPA board by:
    • the student representative’s participation in the board’s e-mail conversations;
    • soliciting students’ opinions and concerns; requesting the addition of student-related agenda items at the board meetings;
    • maintaining e-mail contact with students interested in psychological anthropology and student members of the SPA.
    • serving on SPA Board committees: biennial meetings, program, nominations, and other.
  • In the past, the student representative has promoted student participation in SPA by:
    • organizing a session of student papers for the SPA biennial meeting;
    • helping institute and implement other incentives for student involvement at the SPA biennial meetings, such as arranging free lodging for students attending the meetings.


  • Calls for sessions, papers, poster sessions, and posters at the AAA go out in January for meetings in the following November. The student representative may want to organize sessions, encourage other students to participate in or organize sessions, encourage professors and faculty to co-organize sessions with students or to include students in their sessions.
  • Condon Prize (SPA’s student essay contest) entries are due May 1; the student representative may want to send out reminders to SPA student members and other students (e.g. National Association of Student Anthropologists) ahead of time.
  • Planning for the SPA biennial meeting generally begins over a year in advance; the student representative can request having a student session at the meetings and act as the session’s organizer or co-organizer.
The book series has been in existence since the early 1990s, under four editorships: Bobby Paul and Richard Shweder, jointly; Roy D’Andrade; Naomi Quinn; Douglas Hollan; and the current editor, Peter Stromberg. Under an arrangement with Cambridge University Press, it has published four authored and nine edited volumes since 1992 (for a list, see here). Its purpose is to promote and disseminate original theory and empirical research in psychological anthropology. Its readership extends beyond psychological anthropology to encompass cultural anthropology, cultural psychology, and other fields that address culture theory. Its impetus comes from renewed interest in culture theory from several disciplinary directions, the patent contribution psychological anthropology has to make to the study of culture, and a recognition that important new syntheses drawing together psychoanalytic anthropology, cognitive anthropology, the study of child development cross-culturally, biological anthropology, and other approaches to culture are emerging within psychological anthropology itself. Through time and the establishment of a quality list, the SPA series has become the premier series in which to publish books in this field.

The book series editor serves a four-year renewable term. Selection of a new book series editor is made by the executive board, under the advisement of an ad hoc selection committee appointed by the board. The size and composition of the editorial board is decided by the editor, and editorial board members’ terms are coterminous with the editor’s.

The book series editor’s duties are to (1) solicit and accept manuscripts for review, (2) oversee the review of these manuscripts, and (3) recommend suitable manuscripts for publication.


Typically, more manuscripts are submitted “over the transom” than come from solicitation. What is submitted reflects the shape and ongoing redefinition of the field. However, active solicitation gives the book series editor some influence in this shaping. For example, the editor may perceive gaps in the field that beg to be filled, or new developments that deserve to be cultivated, or syntheses waiting to be made. Solicitation depends on the editor’s keeping a finger on the pulse of the field, for example, by attending conferences and meetings panels and reading journal articles that might materialize into books.

Convincing authors to write books for a series is difficult, and such solicitations may amount to seed-plantings that only pay off several years later. Edited volumes, and proposals for such volumes, are a good deal easier to produce, and hence to come by. It is up to the book series editor to see to the overall balance of the series, as between edited and authored volumes. The editor also has the important task of maintaining balance among sub-fields and approaches. A final element of balance to be sought is that between junior and senior authors. Junior authors are much hungrier for publication; senior authors are much harder to attract, since many well-established authors prefer to showcase their books outside of a series, or have longstanding informal publishing arrangements with other presses. Publications by established authors, however, enhance the reputation of the series. On the other hand, junior authors can be the most gratifying to publish, since their work often flourishes under the kind of encouragement and advise that the editor and the reviewers can provide.


On average, four to six manuscripts have been reviewed, resulting in one or two publications, per year. The book series editor designs and oversees the review process. This process has five stages. (1) The book series editor screens the submitted manuscripts, turning down, without further review, those that are patently unsuitable for publication in the series. (2) Those manuscripts deemed by the editor appropriate for review are then sent out to reviewers. In the recent past, two reviewers have been used, one reviewer coming from the editorial board and the other, with expertise complementary to that of the first reviewer, from outside the board. Editorial board members typically review one or two manuscripts a year.

Reviewers are compensated with honoraria from the press. Cambridge has traditionally paid $300 in CUP books, or half that amount in dollars. (3) If the reviewers are enthusiastic about the manuscript’s promise for publication, then it will be returned to the author or editor for revision. There is no such thing as a manuscript that does not require revision. If the consensus of the reviewers is that the book is unsuitable for publication, the author or editor is informed, and the process stops there. (4) Once revised, a manuscript is sent out once again for review, normally to the same two reviewers. If the process is going as it should, the revised manuscript should be very close to ready, and the second round of suggestions for revision should be much less extensive than the first. When the author or editor has completed the final revisions, the manuscript is ready to be recommended for publication.

Beyond the initial screening of manuscripts, the book series editor plays key roles in the review process. Upon sending each set of reviews to the book author/editor, the series editor, in a cover letter, synthesizes and summarizes the reviewers’ comments, highlighting the reviewers’ major arguments and their areas of convergence and difference, laying out alternative courses of action that might be taken, and suggesting where there is and is not leeway in responding to reviewers’ suggestions. The series editor also weighs in wherever there is a difference of opinion between reviewers, or between reviewer and book author/editor, or, sometimes, between book editor and contributor. Sometimes the series editor must also soften and restate the substance of reviews that are unnecessarily harsh in tone. And the series editor has the unenviable task of writing to those whose manuscripts are turned down and explaining why.

In addition to these intellectual responsibilities, the editor must see that reviews are timely, which occasionally requires dunning reviewers. Reviews should be returned within three or, at most, four months. The book series editor must then assimilate the reviews and send them to the book author/editor with a cover letter. There is an obligation to book authors and editors not to delay their progress to publication; and this is especially true in the case of authors or editors who are junior and who may be on the job market or coming up for tenure. The series editor sometimes also finds him- or herself encouraging book authors/editors themselves to complete revisions. Given the pace of academic life and the intrusions of family life, revising is typically the longest phase in the development of any manuscript.

Any experienced series editor knows that the review of book manuscripts is critical to the quality of the resulting books. It is vital to encourage editors and authors–and especially, on occasion, author contributors to edited volumes–to take reviews seriously, to view the revision process as a normal part of the publishing process, and, at the same time, not to get discouraged by the extent of the revisions reviewers request. The review process is especially useful to junior scholars–even when, on occasion, their manuscripts are ultimately turned down for published in the series.


This final step in the progress of a successful manuscript to publication requires that the book series editor send the manuscript to the publisher with a substantive cover letter that not only presents the manuscript’s intrinsic merits, but also anticipate and respond to any questions or hesitations the publisher might have about the suitability of the volume for publication. These questions and hesitations often revolve around length, likelihood of classroom use, and other aspects of cost and prospects for sales. The series editor learns not only to defend manuscripts on these bases, but also to read the publisher’s disposition with regard to them, and to work with book authors/editors to see that such matters as appropriate length and classroom appeal are factored into development of the manuscript from the beginning. Nevertheless, series editors may occasionally find themselves having to go to bat for a manuscript they have recommended.

Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the series editor may find him- or herself continuing to play a minor role, advising about such matters as cover photographs or permissions to reprint, or smoothing over disputes between the book author/editor and the publisher. But the process is now in the hands of the publisher.

The primary job of the Society for Psychological Anthropology contributing editor to Anthropology News (AN) is to use the column and the AN to promote psychological anthropology and to relay important information to the membership of the SPA.

The column is allotted 700 words of space in the AN during every month. Presently, a photograph can be added to the column without its being counted against the 700 word limit—additional photos count for approximately 500 words per photo. It is not necessary for the column to appear every month. The deadline for submission is approximately 1.5 months before the column will appear. For instance, the deadline for the September column is typically mid-July.

The column editor can also solicit contributions to be used as feature articles in AN. Usually, after the writer agrees to contribute, the AN Editor works with the person directly.

The column editor also announces prize competitions and their winners. There has developed an additional tradition of prizewinners writing a short essay that appears in the column.

The column editor also serves as a contact person for the SPA. In fact, the column editor’s contact information is the only information on contacting the SPA that appears in the AN.

The responsibilities of the contributing editor sometimes change. Since 1998, the column has been reduced from 2000 words to 700. New electronic media also affect the column. Recently, this has been manifested in the shift from paper submissions to electronic submission.


  • Using the column to preview invited sessions at the AAA, and if possible volunteered sessions, as well. This requires working with the program committee to get the abstracts ahead of time.
  • Announcing prize competitions and their winners in the Awards column of the AN.
  • Requesting that winners of SPA awards (Stirling, Condon, and Boyer) submit short essays to appear in the column.
  • Soliciting essays from SPA members to appear in the column or as feature articles in the AN.
  • Using the column for news concerning the society, e.g., reports on business meetings, announcements about biennial meetings, announcements about changes in editors, and information on the listserv and the website. It is wise to make announcements of important changes at least twice, and to remind the membership of the listserv and website twice per year (see Appendix 2 for information on the listserv and website).
  • Using the column to distribute information on behalf of programs potentially of interest to the SPA membership, e.g., graduate programs and summer programs.
  • Serving as a major contact between SPA membership, readers of the column, and the SPA board. This has been particularly the case in getting people information on subscribing to the listserv and in distributing the syllabus project.
  • Soliciting contributions from SPA members toward the annual theme of the AN. AN usually selects a theme for the year and newsletter editors are encouraged to solicit contributions that show how activities or interests of the society’s membership relate to the theme.
  • Work with the AN Editor and the other contributing editors. This sometimes includes trading future space in order to fit current contributions.


Holly Mathews originally prepared this timeline, and I’ve modified it due to changes in the column. It provides a guide for when tasks should be done, although there is some variability from year to year. This variability is primarily due to announcing information about the biennial meetings. It is often useful to plan six months to one year ahead in order to meet the needs of the society.


  • Contact SPA Program Chairs and ask them to send you, when ready, the session proposals and abstracts for all invited SPA sessions for the next annual meeting.
  • Begin contacting SPA members who might write contributions on the theme issues; try to line up one for the middle of August to appear in the October issue which is the theme issue. It is always possible to hit up an incoming President to write on the theme topic as a way of introducing them to the members.


  • Write up our invited sessions for the September issue which is due in July and features the program for the annual meeting.
  • During years with biennial meetings, include in the column a recap of all pertinent information.
  • If there is not the space for both previewing the AAA sessions and the biennial meetings, make the biennial meetings the priority.
  • If you project having the space for summaries of invited sessions, send letter to all chairs of invited sessions asking them to prepare summaries for the column and giving them appropriate deadlines to meet.


  • Put together October column. This often features an essay by an SPA member on the theme. During years with biennial meetings, you may have to use the October column to preview the SPA sessions at the AAA.
  • Contact SPA secretary to see if the Stirling, Condon, and Boyer prizewinners have been selected. Once they are selected and notified, contact them for biographical information and photos to be used when announcing the award in the Prizes and Awards column. Contact each prize committee chair for comments about the winning essay or book. Ask the prizewinners to prepare an essay in which they comment on winning the prize and offer the previous columns written by prizewinners as guides. Appendix 3 of this handbook gives some examples.


  • Submit November column. This can either be previews of AAA volunteered sessions, an essay from a prizewinner, or an essay from somebody contributing to the AN theme.


  • Prepare December issue. This could be an essay by a prizewinner, a discussion of what went on at the biennial meetings. I also like to include an announcement about the listserv and the website during this month (see Appendix 2).


  • Prepare January column and the announcement of the Condon competition to appear in the January Prizes and Awards column. Every other year also announce the Stirling competition—this competition is held in even-numbered years. Section IV of this handbook gives the announcement templates—all that needs to be altered are the submission deadlines and the address of the SPA Secretary.


  • Prepare February column. Include information from reports given at the SPA business meeting at the AAAs.


  • Prepare March column. Include a reminder of the prize competition deadlines. This is another good time to remind members of the website and the listserv. Frequently, this month has a contribution from a prizewinner or a summary of a session.
  • In years when the society is planning a biennial meeting, this is a good time to make a preliminary announcement. Usually the President writes a statement about the program and inviting participation.
  • Contact the chair of the Boyer Prize committee to see if the committee wants the column used to solicit nominations.


  • Prepare April column. This is a good month for an essay from a prizewinner or a summary of a session. If the SPA program chairs for the AAA meetings have been, this is also a good time to announce their contact information and solicit sessions.


  • Prepare May column—the last one of the year! This is a good time to thank those who have contributed to the column during the year, and include any essays or announcements that had not been worked into the column previously. It is also crucial to remind SPA members that the listserv is the best way to get news about SPA activities during the summer.


The SPA regularly gives out three prizes: the Condon, the Stirling, and the Boyer. The contributing editor announces the competitions for the Stirling and Condon in the AN’s Prizes and Awards column, but not the Boyer. Sometimes, the chair of the Boyer committee asks that the column be used to solicit nominations. The winners of the prizes are mentioned in the column, but the primary announcements appear in the AN’s Prizes and Awards column.

The contributing editor asks prizewinners to contribute an essay to the column. Given current space constraints on the column, it is often necessary to negotiate with other column editors to obtain additional space for the essay. Every year the AN editor provides an e-mail list of all the contributing editors, so a mass-email to them all is usually sufficient to begin the process of obtaining additional space. When another contributing editor offers space, have that editor notify the AN editor, as well.

Samples of competition announcements and essays by prizewinners appear in Appendix 3.

In addition to the three regular prizes, at Biennial Meetings the SPA also sometimes awards individuals Lifetime Achievement Awards. When this is done, the presenter of the award normally prepares a summary of the individual’s career. It is worth approaching the presenter for the text of this summary and permission to edit this and use it in the announcement of the award. Winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are usually not asked to contribute an essay to the column. A sample announcement of a lifetime achievement award appears in Appendix 3.


The official policy of Anthropology News is: “Because the AAA depends on paid advertising from publishers and other organizations with anthropological products, we must therefore remove all but the bare essentials for products mentioned in your columns. You may mention the existence of books, T-shirts and memberships or subscriptions available elsewhere, for example, but please do not include tables of contents, lengthy descriptions or prices. An address for further information will suffice” (See Appendix 1).

While advertising of products is prohibited, the use of the column to mention books and journals is allowed, and there has never been any resistance to Boyer Prize essay. The difference between announcing and advertising specific titles in the SPA series on Cambridge University Press remains a gray area despite attempts to seek clarification. In addition, occasionally members will request that their recent book be promoted in the column. With the listing of recent publications on the new SPA website, the best response to such queries is to have the book posted there.

Sometimes organizers of conferences or summer programs will contact the contributing editor requesting an announcement in the column. Whether such announcements are included in the column is up to the contributing editor, but the rough guidelines presently followed are:

SPA business takes precedence, so such announcements only appear if there is space;

Preference is given to activities organized by SPA members or that already involve significant contributions by SPA members (there is a list of members in the AAA Guide);

Such announcements are only included if there is a reasonable time from the appearance of the column to any relevant deadlines for the program or conference. Often these announcements arrive two months before the event that makes an announcement in the column impractical. In such cases, suggest the use of the SPA listserv.

Finally, occasionally graduate programs that emphasize psychological anthropology request that information be placed in the column. This is a very important service, although with the new word limits, such information usually needs to be heavily edited.


The term for the SPA contributing editor is officially 4 years, and the term has beginning and ending dates that differ from those of other SPA board members. The term begins with preparing the September column, and ends with the submission of the May column in the fourth year. This results in a de facto term of from around April to March four years later.

The contributing editor is selected by the SPA Board almost a year before the new editor’s term begins. This allows the outgoing editor to mentor the incoming editor for one year of columns before the new editor takes over.

Consequently, the job of contributing editor involves a five year commitment—one year to learn the job under the outgoing editor and four years serving as contributing editor.


Template for Condon Prize competition announcement:

2001 Condon Prize for Best Student Essay in Psychological Anthropology

The Society for Psychological Anthropology solicits entries for the 2001 Richard G. Condon Prize for the best student essay in psychological anthropology. The winner will be awarded a year’s membership in the Society for Psychological Anthropology, which includes a subscription to Ethos, and travel expenses (to cover airfare, hotel and registration expenses) to attend the 2001 biennial meeting of the SPA to be held in [meeting location].

The prize is named for the late Richard G. Condon, whose work included the study of adolescence, family, and change among the Canadian Inuit. Psychological anthropology is defined broadly to include interrelationships among psychological, social and cultural phenomena; it is not confined to studies of culture and personality. Essays will be judged on their organization and clarity, as well as upon their theoretical and methodological strengths. The winner will be recognized at the [year] SPA Business Meeting in [meeting location].

Papers submitted for consideration should follow these guidelines: (1) No evidence of the author’s identity may be provided in any way through the text or by reference in the paper; (2) author’s name and address, student affiliation, and the title of the paper must be provided on a separate cover sheet accompanying the manuscript, which should be identified by the title; (3) authors must be students at the time of writing the paper, and entries should be accompanied by a photocopy of the student identification card; (4) papers must not exceed 35 double-spaced pages and must follow the style of Ethos; and (5) the original and three copies of the paper must be submitted and received by May 1, [year], accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope if return of the original is desired. Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration; those that qualify will be forwarded to the awards committee after May 15. Entries should be addressed to [name], SPA Secretary/Treasurer, [address]; [telephone]; [fax number]; [email].

Template for Stirling Announcement:

[2001] Stirling Award Competition The Society for Psychological Anthropology invites the submission of unpublished papers for the biennial Stirling Award for Contributions to Psychological Anthropology. As previous award-winning essays demonstrate, psychological anthropology is broadly defined to include interrelationships among psychological, social and cultural phenomena; it is not confined to studies of personality and culture. This award was established in 1968 by Rebecca and Gene Stirling, under the auspices of the American Anthropological Association. A cash prize of $750 will be given, and the winner will be recognized at the banquet at the 2001 biennial meeting of the SPA to be held in [October in Decatur, Georgia]. The winner will be notified in time to arrange to attend the biennial meeting.

Submissions will be accepted from AAA members in good standing, as well as from social and behavioral scientists in fields other than anthropology who establish membership in the Association. The following requirements apply: (1) Only unpublished papers may be submitted. An unpublished paper, by the terms of this competition, is one that has not been submitted elsewhere for publication. That means manuscripts accepted for publication elsewhere but not yet in print are not eligible for consideration nor are manuscripts under review at other journals; (2) No evidence of the author’s identity may be provided through the text of by reference in the paper. Author’s name, address, and the title of the paper must be provided on a separate cover sheet accompanying the manuscript, which should be identified by the title; (3) papers must not exceed 50 double-spaced typed pages, including tables and references, and should follow the style of Ethos; (4) the original and three copies of the paper must be submitted and received by May 1, [2001]. A self-addressed, stamped manila envelope should accompany the paper if return of the original is desired; (5) submitted papers may not be published until after the contest results are announced at the biennial SPA meeting. The award must be identified as such when the paper is published. Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration; those that qualify will be forwarded to the awards committee after May 15. Entries should be addressed to: to [name], SPA Secretary/Treasurer, [address]; [telephone]; [fax number]; [email].

Photocopies of prize announcements and essays from award winners:

  1. Condon Prize Announcement (McCollum Wins Condon, November 1999)
  2. Lifetime Achievement Award (Bourguignon Wins Lifetime Achievement Award, December 1999); Stirling Prize Announcement (Garro Wins Stirling Award, December 1999)
  3. Boyer Prize Announcement (Chodorow Wins Boyer, February 2001)
  4. Reflections on the 1999 Condon Prize (Chris McCollum, January 2000)
  5. Reflections on Receiving the Stirling Prize (Linda Garro, October 2000)
  6. Reflections on Receiving the Boyer Prize (Nancy Chodorow, April 2001)
The electronic publications editor maintains the Society for Psychological Anthropology website. As the web is a rapidly evolving medium, the specific duties of the website manager will vary significantly depending on technological innovations, the manager’s expertise, and the Society’s needs.


The electronic publications editor’s primary duties are to maintain the existing website by posting updates as needed. The website currently maintains a list of officers, descriptions of upcoming meetings, both for SPA and AAA, database of sample course syllabi in psychological anthropology, instructions for listserv subscriptions, links to unpublished manuscripts in progress, and announcements of new publications of interest to psychological anthropologists. All of these have to be updated periodically, and the editor should actively seek out information on relevant changes. Staying in close communication with the SPA president is very helpful. As of this writing the SPA website is maintained on the American Anthropological Association website servers. All updates and new postings should be sent to the AAA Web Coordinator, currently Lorie VanOlst, email: lvanolst@aaanet.org. The AAA has allocated only limited server space for the Society at not charge, so future improvements on the website may require funds from the Society.

The SPA website also includes a forum to be moderated by the electronic publications editor. Currently the forum is sponsored free of charge by a commercial company, Bravenet Web Services (http://www.bravenet.com/). The “Forums” link on the SPA web pages takes one to the SPA forum hosted at the Bravenet website. The website editor, as moderator, has exclusive rights to amend or delete any message posted at the forum. It is the responsibility of the website editor to monitor messages posted there–email notification of any posting is available–and to assure that postings have suitable content related to issues of interest to psychological anthropologist.


Each electronic publications editor will use different tools and techniques in website design. It is important for the webmaster to be aware that SPA subscribers and others will be using a wide range of web browsers. Some of these browsers will be several years old. It is very important to check the appearance of the website by viewing it with a range of browsers–and with different versions of the same browser.

The SPA website should adhere to evolving web content accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities. These guidelines are posted at the following web address:



The website editor should also periodically consult with SPA members for suggestions on what would be the most helpful additions to the SPA site. It is the Society’s goal that over time the website will grow incrementally, that ultimately a wide range of features will be presented. As of this writing, a look at other AAA Society and Program websites shows a variety of features, some of which would be valuable additions to the SPA site:

  • awards: guidelines and recent recipients
  • graduate programs with special resources for students
  • commentary: postings of full text from AN articles
  • full information on upcoming meetings
  • postings from published book reviews
  • descriptions of funding sources for researchers
  • abstracts of recent dissertations
  • graduate student forum
  • links to online maps for use in classes
  • photographs from field areas of books used in classes
  • instructions for joining and dropping a listserv

Some of these features will be implemented as time permits. Others may serve to inspire ideas to future webmasters for future additions. In the near future we hope to implement the following new features on the SPA website:

  • directory of members with links to home pages
  • descriptions of books that have proved effective in pedagogy
  • research projects currently underway
  • descriptions of online technology techniques in teaching

The SPA program Chair, also known to the AAA as the “Section Program Editor,” has the responsibility of arranging SPA invited sessions, assessing and ranking organized sessions, and putting together sessions of volunteered papers for the AAA annual meetings. The number of invited session slots allocated to the SPA depends on the size of the SPA membership; in 2001, the SPA was allotted 5.50 hours, which was broken down into three invited sessions. The responsibilities of the Program Committee come in two major waves, one in early spring, when the committee must organize the invited sessions (by the beginning of April), and the second in early May, when the committee receives from the AAA processed lists of volunteered papers and organized sessions that must be organized into sessions, evaluated, and ranked.

In the late fall, the president of the SPA should constitute an SPA program committee and designate a chair or “editor,” who is normally a member of the SPA Board. The committee should have a total of three members. These names should then be submitted to the AAA central office.

In early January, the AAA Director of Meetings will send the Section Program Editor an Annual Meeting Operations Manual, which lays out all procedures and deadlines, including information about how many invited sessions each section has been allotted and how long they can be. The listserve address for the AAA program committee isaaaprogram@lists.aaanet.org. The AAA also has a website where the annual call for papers, submission information, and proposal forms for paper and session submissions can be found. This is www.aaanet.org.

Responsibilities of the Section editor and SPA program committee, with suggested deadlines:

The newly designated chair may find it helpful to submit a call for suggestions for invited sessions to the SPA president for email distribution to the SPA list. The text of the 2001 call for sessions was as follows:

The SPA has been alotted up to thre invited sessions at the 2001 AAA meetings in Washington, DC, and now is the time to give us your suggestions for such sessions. The general theme of the AAA meetings this year is “100 Years of Anthropology: The Transformation of a Discipline.” Though the SPA is, of course, not restricted to addressing this themes, this would thus be a good opportunity to organize at least one session that takes an innovative retrospective look at Psychological Anthropology, ideally from a range of perspectives. The AAA is also encouraging organizers to be innovative in their planning of the sturucture of their sessions, suggesting, for example, that more time be allowed for discussion interspersed with formal presentations. It is also possible to sponsor a double session or a joint session with another section. Please email your ideas for themes and possible presenters to Katherine Ewing, this year’s SPA Section Program Editor, before February 15 (katherine.ewing@duke.edu). You may also contact Carmelly Moore (ccmoore@orion.oac.uci.edu) or Kevin Birth (kbi$anth@qc1.qc.edu), who have also volunteered to serve on the Section program committee.

(Technically, the invited sessions are to be organized directly by the program committee, but input from the membership, including names of likely participants, is always welcome) The call for suggestions should include a deadline of mid to late February, to give the committee time 1) to constitute invited sessions and/or assess the suggestions for invited sessions made by others and 2) to inform the people designated as invited session chairs of the committee’s decisions before March 15 so that the session chairs can prepare their final packets for submission directly to the AAA.

All proposals to the AAA, including invited sessions, organized sessions, and volunteered papers are due at the very beginning of April. Only invited sessions must first pass through the SPA program committee before this deadline. Others are submitted to the AAA directly by the session organizers or by the individual presenter. But all sessions, both invited and organized must be submitted directly to the AAA by the session chair (or individual volunteer) on the appropriate forms with the required registration fees. The SPA program editor will, at the same time, submit to the AAA program chair a list of the SPA invited sessions, including the participants, paper titles, recommended order of presentation, and time allotment recommendations. The program editor should also send the SPA president a list of the invited sessions at this time.

After a hiatus of a month or so, the next responsibility of the program editor and program committee begins in early May, when the editor receives from the AAA a list of organized sessions and volunteered papers to be reviewed by the SPA for sponsorship. The editor must copy this packet and distribute it immediately to the rest of the SPA program committee. (This will probably not be a very large pileÐthere seems to be a fairly close correspondence between he number of papers received and the number of papers that the SPA is allowed to sponsor.) Each committee member then independently evaluates each paper and makes suggestions for organizing them into sessions and ranking the sessions. The program chair makes the final decisions, including the decision to reject weak papers or sessions, and sends these recommendations back to the AAA. At some time in the summer, the AAA will inform the program editor of the final decisions of the AAA program committee. The editor should then inform the SPA newsletter editor and the SPA president of the final list of SPA-sponsored sessions.

The nominations committee comprises at least three members appointed by the Board of Directors for staggered three-year terms. The duties of the Committee are set out as follows in the SPA Bylaws:

Each year the Nominations Committee shall nominate a slate of at least six potential candidates for each elected office that is open and submit these names to the Board of Directors for review at its annual meeting. The Board will rank the names and return the list to the Nominations Committee which shall then contact candidates seriatim and forward to the Secretary/Treasurer those candidates’ names who have agreed to run for election. The Secretary/Treasurer shall send these nominations to the AAA headquarters according to the Section nomination and election schedule.

In practice, however, we normally need candidate slates only every other year, though in unusual cases where we have special elections, there may be exceptions to the practice.

The committee has generally been chaired by the President-elect of the SPA. The committee chair confers with the committee members to come up with a long list of possible candidates to run for two board positions and the office of President-Elect of the SPA. (Self-nominations are considered.) In consultation with the committee members, the committee chair then formulates ranked short lists of six persons each to run for of the given positions. These tentative slates are then sent to the President of the SPA for consideration and approval. The Committee Chair then contacts the approved candidates, informs them of their nomination, and invites them to stand for election.

The committee calls for nominations (including self-nominations) by announcing the competition in the Anthropology Newsletter (March or April issue) and posting to relevant lists. The committee also relies upon its own judgment in searching out publications which it feels to be appropriate candidates for the award. Books and articles published in the preceding year (the year prior to that in which the award is given) are eligible for consideration. The deadline for external nominations, to be submitted to the committee chair, should be around May 15. The prize is awarded at the SPA business meeting at the AAA, in November or December each year. In order to meet the deadline for inclusion in the printed program of the AAA meeting, the committee should make its selection by August 1. The chair should contact committee members to alert them to the deadline for external nominations, consult on places to announce the competition, and set up a timetable for the committee’s work. Then committee members should develop amongst themselves a short list of possible prize recipients. This short list should be developed with sufficient time so as to let all committee members take a look at the work: ideally, by mid-June or early July. The prize committee should then come to a shared decision. It is not considered appropriate to split the prize between two recipients. The committee should reach a decision by August 1 and convey the result to the Secretary-Treasurer who contacts the recipient and invites the author(s) to attend the annual meeting to receive the award.