In the wake of our turbulent and abiding experiences of pandemic pain and politics, the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences will focus our 2021-2022 program on theory and critique of forms of care, mutual aid, and charity. With this theme, we raise questions about possibility and solidarity in the face of entrenched social inequities and racialized structural violence; with this theme, we honor three esteemed colleagues from our New York Community whom we recently lost: David Graeber, Sally Engle Merry, and Leith Mullings. We invite discussion of how communities develop and deepen forms of care for one another and our environment in times of crisis or under enduring conditions of suffering. How might care be reactive, adaptive, relative, and revelatory? How do emergent communities, both on the ground and in virtual spaces, stake claims to a future that expands or contracts the space of solidarity? 

This conversation invites discussion of the politics of humanitarian efforts throughout the world in recognition of the reality that much community-based care emerges in the shadow of dysfunctional governance and the corruptions of neoliberalism. The global pandemic has highlighted the irony that care workers are often underpaid or even unpaid, their exploitation a symptom of structural inequalities accrued across generations. Against the centrifugal forces of capitalist modernity, what possibilities exist for radical mutuality in the future? What constitutes care as related to the social, environmental, ontological, or material? Rather than asking anthropologists to assume some kind of prophetic role, this series offers an opportunity to take critical stock of what tools and perspectives our discipline provides in terms of methods, theory, community engagement, and public commentary, as we envision and imagine new possibilities for reshaping society. 

October 2021
04 October 2021

Criminalizing Care and Neglect in Sexual Assault Sentencing: Race and Punishment in Milwaukee, WI

Expired

This talk examines the role of care in the U.S. courts, particularly as it is scrutinized during the sentencing of people who have been convicted of sexual assault. In the course of a trial or a hearing, judges, attorneys, and witnesses often …

6:30 pm8:00 pm
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November 2021
08 November 2021

Building Strong Bonds: Lessons from Baboons

Expired

Sociality has evolved in many animal taxa, and reflects a balance between the benefits of living …

6:30 pm8:00 pm
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December 2021
06 December 2021

Urban Infrastructure and Resiliency in Precolonial Mesoamerica

Expired

In the US and around the world, debate rages about what constitutes infrastructure and how much to invest in its construction and maintenance. What lessons can we glean from a deep historical approach on studying cities in the ancient world? …

6:30 pm8:00 pm
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