Letter from the President

Noel Salazar
Noel B. Salazar

Dear EASA member

We are getting ready for our conference in Tallinn, Estonia. EASA’s biennial meetings are undoubtedly the beating heart of our association. They provide not only an opportunity to hear the latest in (European) anthropology, but also allow you to network with colleagues and to make new friends from across Europe (and beyond). The scientific committee and the local team at our host institution, Tallinn University, have worked very hard. The result is a truly exciting academic programme. The theme of this year’s conference is: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution – Innovation and Continuity in an Interconnected World. The keynote speech, 3 plenaries, 8 invited panels, 114 panels, 13 laboratories, 17 films and a handful of network meetings and social events offer you plenty of opportunity to explore the multiple ways in which the key concepts of collaboration, intimacy and revolution are connected to one another. Through an online interview series on Allegra and presence in the Estonian press, we are ensuring that our conference will receive enough attention both inside and outside the anthropological community.

At Tallinn, we will also choose a new editor for our journal, Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, and the venue for EASA2016. We are thrilled this year to introduce ‘laboratories’, a new presentation format constituted through experimentation, collaboration, interaction and improvisation. This edition of our biennial meeting will be special because we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of EASA’s inaugural meeting in 1989. That our association is coming of age is also marked, unfortunately, by the passing of some of our more senior members. I want to mention here in particular Gerd Baumann (EASA executive committee member, 1997-1998, and Chair, 1999-2000) and William Kavanagh (co-founder and co-convenor of the EASA Mediterraneanist Network since its founding in 2004). May their engagement and dedication inspire us in our own work.

Last May, I represented EASA in Berlin at the general assembly of EASH, the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities. Together with the presidents of the European Sociological Association, the European Confederation of Political Science Associations, the European Educational Research Association and the European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres, I wrote a letter to the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science to protest against the way the core research of the social sciences and humanities are being treated in Horizon 2020. The letter addresses the mainstreaming of SSH research and includes further suggestions on making the 6th challenge of Horizon 2020 on ‘inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’ a part of the new framework programme with a particularly strong SSH research dimension. The letter has since been endorsed by presidents of 28 other European learned societies.

EASA also joined an international initiative of learned societies to protest against Nazi War Diggers, a planned National Geographic Channel International show about the excavation of World War II sites that showed a complete disregard for proper and respectful treatment of human remains. Because of this joint action, the show was cancelled. To end, EASA was very well represented at the 50th anniversary conference of the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology, where we also participated in the meeting of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA). We hope to be welcoming colleagues from other continents at our conference too.

Looking forward to seeing you in Tallinn,
Noel B. Salazar, Your President