Working Session: ASAO Histories
We had 11 draft papers for first working session, held in Kaua‘i in 2017. Several of them traced the histories of specific components of ASAO as an organization, including the monograph/book series; the special publications and distinguished lectures; ASAO membership categories; annual meeting site selection; the ASAO website; and the Pacific Islands Scholars Fund to 2005. Other papers focused on aspects of the association’s history from particular points of view, including impacts of Jane Goodale’s practice of bringing her students to ASAO meeting; a personal reflection on imagining ASAO through years of involvement solely through ASAONET; suggestions for supporting increased and ongoing involvement of Pacific Islanders in the organization; and the intertwined histories of what was once the Association for Social Anthropology in Eastern Oceania (ASAEO) and NEWS, the NorthEast Wantok System newsletter for Melanesianists, reflecting the gradual, growing involvement of the latter in the broadened ASAO.
Contributing authors thus far include Margaret Critchlow, Michèle Dominy, Jeannette Mageo, Andrew Strathern and Pamela Stewart, Rupert Stasch, Lamont Lindstrom, Julianna Flinn, Mike Rynkiewich, Alan Howard, Jan Rensel, Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi, Nancy Pollock, and Rick Feinberg. Alex Mawyer and Alan Howard are also involved in an overarching, continuing project, drawing on a spreadsheet they compiled of the more than 700 ASAO sessions that have taken place in the association’s first half-century. Besides contributing to Alex and Alan’s analysis, this resource will provide useful data for many of the papers currently in development and others yet to be proposed. Numerous other ASAO members are participating in this session as resource people.
Additional projects still in development include writing the histories of ASAONET and the Newsletter; compiling lists of board members and of officers over the past fifty years; and identifying the people in the annual meeting photo “albums” now kept online on the ASAO website. Anyone who would like to help with these projects—or propose other topics—please contact the organizers as soon as possible, and preferably before October 31, 2017. A second working session is planned for the 2018 meeting in New Orleans. We also continue to maintain
a blog for sharing and providing feedback on draft papers throughout the year and for those who cannot attend meetings.
ASAO Histories participants can access the Histories blog here.
Jan Rensel, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, UH Mānoa <email@example.com>;
Alan Howard, Anthropology Department, UH Mānoa <firstname.lastname@example.org>