Visual Anthropology of Japan Blog

Stumbled across an interesting blog: Visual Anthropology of Japan

She (the VAJ blogger) has posted these announcements on her blog, but I figured I’d repost them here. I’ve heard of the second one. The first one includes the possibility of submitting a photo essay or video. The second one is about theatre (theatre!), creating a play. And the third is about hair, and, as VAJ mentions, is a good candidate for a visual anthro project. I think it’s terribly exciting things are this are going on. And okay, okay, it’s American anthropology, connected with AAA (american anthro association), but open to all applicants. 🙂

1. Announcement from NASA:

Attention grad and undergrad anthro students: Please consider submitting an article to the new anthropology e-journal sponsored by the National Assoc. of Student Anthropologists (NASA). The call for papers (pasted below) is organized around the theme for the AAA 2008 Annual Meetings. Completed manuscripts of 1000 words should be submitted by April 21, 2008 to See below for more information…

The National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA) will launch its first online publication, The NASA e-Journal, under the banner of the 2008 American Anthropological Association conference theme: “Inclusion, Collaboration, and Engagement.”

We seek scholarly submissions from undergraduate and graduate students worldwide about the application of anthropological theories and methods outside of academia or across disciplines for the purpose of exploring, problematizing, or addressing social problems. Have you worked in an internship, co-op or another job as a student anthropologist and wish to reflect on how you relied on your anthropological training? Perhaps you collaborated with students from other disciplines at a volunteer organization and seek to describe the value you added from an anthropological perspective? Is there a paper you submitted for a service-learning class where you addressed a social problem using anthropological methods? Have you done fieldwork in a community where you sought to create positive social change in the process of gathering data? Tell us about it! Scholarly articles should be 1,000 words in length and will be subject to a double blind review process.

We also welcome innovative commentary submissions to the e-Journal. Commentaries are opinion or avant-garde pieces of work which are the original work of the authors. These submissions are to express the next generation of anthropologists’ ideas, goals and beliefs of the direction our discipline should head, be it locally, nationally or globally. We seek a plurality of voices on this issue and intend to raise awareness among fellow students as well as more established anthropologists about the direction our discipline is heading. Commentary submissions might include such mediums as written pieces (1,000 words in length), photo stories (10 photos + 1,000 words of commentary in length) and videos/YouTube clips (10-minute maximum in duration + 1,000 words of commentary in length).

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit a full 1,000 word manuscript for consideration by midnight EST on April 21, 2008 along with any accompanying materials.

Authors should complete their submissions according to the AAA style guide (

Submissions should be saved in Microsoft Word “.doc” format with the file title being the first author’s last name and first initial. (example: HebertM.doc)

We invite authors to provide drawings, graphs and maps to enhance the visual component of each article. These should be included as separate attachments in the email. Graphics should be saved as “.jpg” format. The file name should be the first authors last name, first initial and then the number of the photo. (example: HebertM1.jpg) Please also include reference in your text where graphics should be placed by inserting the above identifier in the text.

Videos should be provided as a link (if located on a site such as YouTube) or included as a graphics file in a readily viewable format such as QuickTime or Windows Media Player.

Please send submissions to the e-Journal editorial team with the subject heading “NASA Manuscripts – Vol. 1” at

Authors will be notified regardless if their work has been selected for publication or not. We look forward to publishing submissions for Volume 1 of the NASA e-Journal in the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009.

2. Radical Theater

RADICAL THEATER AS CULTURAL INTERVENTION: Exploring art and politics in anthropology’s center-stage.

Call For Proposals – Radical Theater Plays

This is a call for short, one-act plays that address contemporary social issues in a globalizing world. We invite you to read or perform a 10-minute act exploring the effects of drama on the AAA 2008 theme of “Inclusion, Collaboration & Engagement.? We propose using the potential efficacy of radical, open theater to broaden audiences and engage community participation in amore public and active anthropology. We blur conventional distinctions between text and performance, stage and auditorium, performer and spectator, action and dialogue, and art and life. Theater has the potential to stir debate with our many publics both within the humanities and the natural and social sciences, and outside of academia because of the performatic and symbolic efficacy of applause, laughter, tears, and indignation! As anthropologists and theater practitioners, we use radical theater to affect public policy and create social change, transforming future actions of our audiences, communities, and research partners. Democracy, education, environmental justice, health equity, peace-making, and human rights are core matter of story lines we enunciate. Our theatrical visions are inhabited by characters whose diverse voices, gazes, and epistemic perspectives enlarge our center stage, empowering communities and making anthropology increasingly relevant to the global community. Theater and anthropology collaborate to engage the general public into a dialogue for dramatic change.

Please send your 250-word abstract, including title of play and your affiliation to:

Mariana Ferreira


Ariane Dalla Déa

3. Call for papers for a Volunteered Session at 2008 AAA Meeting in San Francisco

Hair, Pubic and Beyond

This session sets out to explore the complex intersections between hair practices, particular forms of human hair, and their connections to larger global markets. The aim is to undress human hair practices, to disentangle local and personal meanings, especially as they are related to “economies of choice” and issues of identity and self, articulated in practices of consumption. As Obeyeskere argued in Medusa’s Hair, the hair of the head is culturally elaborated to publicly denote categories of gender, age, sex, and sexuality, at the same time that it is linked, both sensuously and symbolically, to personal and emotional understandings of selfhood. Hair is also implicated in wider processes of globalization, especially in relation to the interaction of groups and individuals with fashion trends. Hairstyles have been set apart by anthropologists, especially in relation to globalization and cultural change, diametrically as either “traditional” or “modern/fashionable.” It is not enough, however, to assume that “modern” hairstyles, or the commodified dressing of hair are simply adopted forms and practices that signify consumers as a unified category of personhood. Rather, by considering localized histories and personal choices involved in the dressing of hair, structural constraints, the making of the self through hair practices and consumer practices, can fruitfully be explored.

Pubic hair and the hair of the body are also embedded in these processes. However, there has been a tendency in anthropology to consider pubic hair and body hair as different analytical categories to the hair of the head. How does the recent growth in the availability of consumer products and services, in the form of waxes and dyes, shaping and laser-removal, and the much celebrated “Brazilian” in North America, fit into a person’s bodily practices of selfhood? How might these practices provide possibilities for exploring questions of sexuality and sexualization as individuals adopt and seek to define themselves in relation to these relatively emergent consumer practices? If pubic and body hair are seen as critical sites for exploring the connections between desire, pleasure, sexuality, consumption and selfhood, how are these constructed, negotiated, rejected and defined in relation to new consumer products? And how can the adoption of hairstyles, whether pubic or otherwise, be understood anthropologically as both embedded in political economies of consumption under capitalism and as processes of meaning creation for individual subjects?

Please contact :

Angelique Lalonde (PhD Candidate, Anthropology) University of
Victoria, SSHRC Fellow


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