Letter from the President

Noel Salazar
Noel B. Salazar

Dear EASA member

It has only been a couple of months since you received the previous newsletter. Many things have happened since. On Friday 4 October, EASA held its Annual General Meeting in Brussels. Over twenty colleagues from various European countries attended. The executive committee reported to the membership on all the association’s recent activities. New EASA networks were approved and Eeva Berglund, the EASA Book Series editor, was officially presented. Nigel Rapport gave a keynote entitled ‘Towards a Cosmopolitan Anthropology of Human Capacity and Individual Substance’. The closing reception created the perfect atmosphere to meet informally. In name of EASA, I’d like to thank the Université Libre de Bruxelles for hosting us.

The launch of the Call for Panels for our anniversary conference in Tallinn did not go unnoticed. We received over 180 proposals, far more than the venue in Estonia can possibly accommodate. This means that the scientific committee had to make some tough choices. The Call for Papers has now been launched. Please remember that you can also participate in Tallinn through the Call for Laboratories and the Call for Films. We also welcome bids now from institutions wanting to host EASA’s conference in 2016 (more information about this is available online). In addition, we are launching a call for editors for Social Anthropology, as the term of the current team is coming to an end in 2014.

While EASA will certainly use the upcoming conference to celebrate its 25th birthday, there are also other ways in which we want to mark this milestone in the association’s history. A quarter of a century of associative life has left us with a substantial amount of archival materials. Unfortunately, the lack of a permanent secretariat means that EASA’s historical record is spread all over Europe. We have therefore launched the project of creating a true institutional archive. We have identified where most materials are located and are having everything shipped to the Archives of the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, where EASA’s archives will be hosted. With the generous help of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, all materials will be properly archived so that they can be safeguarded for future generations.

The association’s anniversary is also a good occasion to reflect constructively about EASA’s governance. EASA has grown tremendously since it was founded in 1989, but its governing document (commonly known as “the Constitution”) has not followed suit. Since EASA is officially registered in the UK, we need to comply with the Companies Act and the Charities Act. In light of the changed legal context, the changed means of communication and the changed reality of the association, we need expert legal help to clarify and redraft certain sections of our governing document. This is an important operation that the executive committee is preparing very carefully. Any professional help we can receive from the membership in this regard would be most appreciated.

At the European level, EASA was present at the launching event of Horizon 2020 for the Social Sciences and Humanities in Brussels. This new EU framework programme offers interesting opportunities for anthropologists to engage in worthwhile research projects. I also had an informative meeting with Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, the new President of the European Research Council. In February 2014, EASA will be hosting the Annual Meeting of the Initiative for Science in Europe in Leuven. Beyond Europe, EASA was well represented at the AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago. We participated in the meeting of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) and an informal gathering of presidents of anthropological associations.

Definitely keep an eye open during 2014… it promises to be an exciting year for all EASA members!

Wishing you a prosperous New Year,
Noel B. Salazar,
your president