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Middle East Section 2011 Annual Report
Farha Ghannam (fghanna1@swarthmore.edu)
I. Section Officers
Position: President
Name: Farha Ghannam
Email: fghanna1@swarthmore.edu
Position: Past-president
Name: Gregory Starrett
Email: gsstarre@uncc.edu
Position: Treasurer
Name: Fida Adely
Email: fja25@georgetown.edu
Position: Secretary
Name: Kamran Ali
Email: asdar@mail.utexas.edu
Position: Board Member
Name: Julie Peteet
Email: julie.peteet@louisville.edu
Position: Board Member
Name: David McMurray
Email: david.mcmurray@oregonstate.edu
Position: Board Member
Name: Moain Sadeq
Email: msadeq@qu.edu.qa
Position: Board Member
Name: Arzoo Osanloo
Email: aosanloo@u.washington.edu
Position: Student Board member
Name: Yasmin Moll
Email: yasmin.moll@nyu.edu
II. Status, Activities and Accomplishments this year
1) Provide the most recent membership numbers and list any factors you think may be
increasing or decreasing your Section membership:

Number of Members: 376
Number of Members: 376
Factors affecting Membership:
The member number increased a bit compared to 362 members last year. Low membership,relevant activities, and major political and social changes in the Middle East continue togenerate interest in the area.
2) * Provide the most recent financial balances for Section budgets (and publication
sponsored budgets, if applicable).Also list any factors you think are affecting your Section's
finances:

Financial Balance: 19,238
Publications: (if applicable)
Online journal CyberOrient, costs covered by our partner, Charles University in Prague.
Factors affecting Finances:
We spend money on an annual reception after the business meeting, on an annual StudentPaper Prize, a biennial Distinguished Scholar Award, and travel subvention for our graduatestudent board member. Next year, we hope to use some of our money to sponsor workshopsto mentor our graduate students members.
3) * List the titles of your Section's AAA meeting invited sessions, co-sponsored sessions,
and any special events your Section sponsored or in which it participated. Check with your
program chairs if needed: When providing session information please note if these are
invited, volunteered or co-sponsored.

Session Type: Invited, Co-Sponsored with AAA CWA.
Session: REVOLUTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA:
ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES, Double invited session
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: SHAPING HISTORIES, NATIONS, NATURES AND CULTURES ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE GULF
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: IN-HABITING THE ARAB WORLD TODAY: TIDEMARKS IN LANDSCAPE,
TRACES IN MEMORY
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: TOLERANT AND INTOLERANT NATIONALISMS
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: REMAKING THE POLITICAL IN PALESTINE
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: OF PEOPLE AND THINGS: HISTORICAL ANTHROPOLOGIES OF LAW AND
LANDED PROPERTY IN THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: MUSIC AND MEDIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Session Type: Volunteered
Session: FROM RIGID STRUCTURES TO FLEXIBLE MANAGEMENT:
BUREAUCRACIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Other Events:
Board Meeting, Business Meeting, reception, and a talk by the winner of MES' Distinguished Scholar Award, Dale F.
Eickelman on the “'Arab Spring': The Limits of Prediction.” A function to remember John G. Kennedy (organized by CaroleBrowner and co-sponsored with the Society for Psychological Anthropology) was canceled by the organizer and will takeplace next year.
4) * Did your section request a meeting registration waiver or community engagement
grant?

Requested Grant: No
If granted, who/what was it/they used for? (if applicable)
5) List spring meeting activities (if applicable):
6) List awards presented this year on behalf of your Section, if applicable (please provide
the title of the award, date presented, and full name, affiliation, and title of the
project/paper/accomplishment of the awardees):

Award Title: Distinguished Scholar Award
Date: 2011-04-28 00:00:00.0
Recipient: Dale Eickelman
Affiliation: Dartmouth College
Project/Paper/etc: Distinguished contributions to Middle East Anthropology
Award Title: Students Paper Award
Date: 2011-04-28 00:00:00.0
Recipient: Elif Babül
Affiliation: Stanford University
Project/Paper/etc: “‘Smells Like Translation’: Pedagogies of Human Rights and
Transnational Standardization in Turkey
Award Title: Students Paper Award
Date: 2011-04-28 00:00:00.0
Recipient: Dorothée Kellou
Recipient: Dorothée Kellou
Affiliation: Georgetown University
Project/Paper/etc: Graffiti on the Wall, Resistance in the Absence of the Subject"
7) * Mentorship efforts (at or beyond the AAA meetings) to any of the following (e.g.,
special activities, funding, awards, guidance/advising on professional matters, etc.):

Undergraduate and/or graduate students
Students Paper Prize competition, graduate student board membership.
Early career scholars:
Independent scholars:
8) Additional outreach efforts (at or beyond the AAA meetings) to other sections, interest
groups, and scholarly societies, government agencies, public education/community
engagement, and underrepresented minorities:

MES has been in close touch with MESA President, anthropologist Suad Joseph (UC Davis),and MESA board member Marcia Inhorn (Yale) to figure out ways to avoid the chronicoverlap between the AAA and MESA annual meetings. MES’s board is also working withboth of them to find ways to collaborate with the aim of making anthropology more visible inMESA. The success of the efforts of both Joseph and Inhorn to increase the number ofanthropology panels at MESA in Nov. 2011 has promoted the thinking of forming a newMESA affiliate organization called the “Association for Middle East Anthropology” (AMEA).
MES is supportive of the idea and is working with the founding members to find ways tocollaborate and support each other.
9) Status and use of Section internal communications such as a website, list serve, or
newsletter (if applicable): Please list internal communication tools you use and what they
are used for:

MES website has been moved to the AAA server, so we'll no longer be paying the $360/yearfor Academic Web Pages to manage it and update the content. What that means is that theBoard will need to find someone else to manage the content. The two alternatives were that wecould keep the current design and find someone who knows HTML, or change the format to aWordPress platform, which anyone with fingers can update. The Board decided unanimouslyto do the latter. Gregg Starrett, MES past-president, volunteered to continue with webmasterduties until the next AAA meetings, when he'll step aside.
Although the MES does not maintain a listserv of its own, there is a well-subscribed listserv,aaamideast, utilized mostly by graduate students and maintained by members of theindependent Task Force for Middle East Anthropology, which posts material of interest,including job announcements and other news. For official Section business we use the AAA master membership list, which reaches all current MES members. Student Board memberYasmin Moll of New York University is our Contributing Editor to Anthropology News, andalso maintains a Facebook page for members of the Middle East Section. As of Sept. 2012,the new student board member, Rehenuma Asmi will take over both areas.
10) Changes in bylaws or governance structure (if applicable):
III. What Initiatives does your Section have underway or planned for the coming year:
Membership, publication annual meeting, mentorship, other?

With our robust budget, we are working to find meaningful ways to spend part of our revenues toadvance the role and visiblity of Middle East Anthropology at the AAA. We are developing aplan for a sustainable program of workshops that will benefit the Section’s graduate studentmembers. Next year, we plan to organize events to mentor graduate students and facilitate theirinteraction with more senior anthropologists.
IV. Please tell us what your chief concerns and issues are, especially if they are not previously
noted:

What issues would you like raised or recommendations would you like to make to the
Section Assembly Executive Committee (SAEC)? Please be specific.

What issues would you like raised or recommendations would you like to make to the AAA
Executive Board? Please be specific.

We are not sure if this is something the AAA Executive board would be able to address but wewonder if there are ways to avoid the continual overlap between the AAA and the Middle EastStudies Association annual meetings? Our members are eager to participate in both meetingsbut often have to choose one or the other and it would be important for Middle Eastanthropology to be present in both venues.
What issues would you like raised or recommendations would you like to make to the AAA
Staff? Please be specific.

Our interaction with the AAA staff has been positive for the most part. Kim Baker inparticular has been a terrific help for MES. Her knowledge and quick response makes life somuch easier for our section.

Source: http://projects.aaanet.org/annualreports/pdf/section/2011/mes2011.pdf

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