Minutes for the SMA Business Meeting

Society for Medical Anthropology 

Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony: Agenda 

Friday, December 1, 2017  @  7:45-9:00 PM — Marriott, Thurgood Marshall South

Reception to Follow – Cash Bar Open Throughout
1. Welcome – Elisa (EJ) Sobo 

EJ Sobo asks the audience if there are any announcements. No one ventures to give an announcement. 

2. Consideration of Minutes (made available to members via SMA’s Website at least 21 days in advance of this meeting, as per SMA’s by-laws) –  EJ Sobo 

A motion for approval comes from the floor. The motion is seconded. Sobo asks if there are any objections to the minutes. Hearing none, minutes are approved. 

3. Consideration of Treasurer’s Report (made available to members via SMA’s Website at least 21 days in advance of this meeting, as per SMA’s by-laws ) – Alexander Rödlach

Last year, there were concerns about how SMA can balance the budget. Given these concerns, the Board approved significant cuts in the budget. The budget was simplified to make it more straightforward. There was an advanced payment from the new publishing contract with Wiley as well as a rebate from the strategic publishing fund of the AAA. The percentage of royalties received for MAQ will also be increasing. Rödlach stresses that we should encourage the members of SMA to sign up for sustained membership to give additional revenue. Given the unexpected windfall this year, we should have some funds available in the next years for member development. Rödlach thanks the SMA general fund and the Basker Endowment. He also thanks individuals who prepared and offered workshops. Rödlach stresses that if there are any questions regarding the Treasurer’s Report please feel to contact him. Sobo asks the audience: Any questions related to SMA finances and spending? Or, are there things you would like to see SMA spend money on: Audience: 1) Chair of AAA resource development committee gives a pitch for financially supporting the AAA intern program. She requests that the little bit of the money received from Wiley received could be given back as a contribution into the AAA intern program, which consists of a 6-week program in DC for 2 interns. She requests that all sections of AAA consider making a 3-year commitment of 500 dollars; 2) SMA member Jennifer Carol remarks on the high cost of attendance for graduate students; she asks if funding of additional students is possible; 3) SMA member remarks that the medical community and clinical research community are interested in the “skills” and knowledge of medical anthropology. Could the SMA put greater attention toward training graduate students in the opportunities that are available in interdisciplinary environments? For example, we could support our students by addressing how to get a job in a medical school and how to apply for NIH grants. 

4. Membership & Mentorship Committee news – Juan Luque 

Special Recognition: (1) Sustaining and Life Members (overleaf) ; (2) New Members

Luque acknowledged sustaining members and lifetime members for their generous support of the SMA. He pointed out that sustaining membership is just 30 dollars more than regular member dues. This 30 dollars goes towards supporting SMA events. Luque presents membership data: in 2017, there were 1031 total SMA members. This is a small decrease from previous year (an 8% decrease) and not out of line with the overall decrease AAA has experienced. However, there are more than 30 more student members, representing a growth of 9% among the student population. There has been a significant decline in international members. The membership committee report is available on the website. The membership committee was involved in the mentorship event at the AAA this year. The committee received 2000 dollars from AAA to hold this event, which took the form of a mentorship lunch. The report for this event will be available on the website. 

Sub-report: MASA – Carlyn Egesa

Any student who belongs to SMA automatically belongs to MASA. MASA participation is tracked by activity on social media. MASA currently has 26,700 members on Facebook, which is an increase of 143 participants from last year. MASA also opened a Twitter account, which currently has 330 followers. The Facebook and Twitter account are both sites where the public can get more information on what MASA is doing, and are also sites where they can pose questions. Egesa encourages the SMA membership to send ideas to MASA. 

Communications news – Eugene Raikhel

Special Recognition – Thank you Megan Carney; Sean Bruna, Hello Sydney Yeager

Eugene Raikhel is filling in for Erin Finley. Raikhel relays that there were staffing and personnel changes this past year. The committee hired a new digital communications manager, Saira Mehmood, and we thank her for her work. Sean Bruna, the webmaster who is now ending his term, is also thanked for many years of running the website. Sydney Yeager, a graduate student from Southern Methodist University, is now taking on the role of webmaster; Megan Carney, the AN liaison, has also ended her term. This is a position we currently have open. During the past year, there was discussion among the committee and the board, if we should combine Second Opinion with Anthropology News. Ultimately, it was decided to keep Second Opinion. We are looking for someone to edit this column. A job description has been circulated on the SMA listserv. This is a good opportunity for students, especially in terms of networking. Raikhel is filling in as interim person while we are searching for someone. 

5. Medical Anthropology Quarterly update– Vincanne Adams

Vincanne Adams relays that MAQ had a great board meeting. Thanks are extended to Nadia Gaber, the editorial assistant for MAQ; Theresa McPhail, the webmaster; and Alex Nading, the book review editor. The health of the journal is good. This past year, the journal passed 184 manuscripts. The time to decision has gone down significantly (from 166 to 29 days). The time to final publication after revisions has also decreased. There is also good news on the impact factor. It has increased to 1831. The impact factor counts a lot for journal and budget, because the journal receives money if it has a high IF. The IF is counted by the number of downloads and citations. Therefore, please encourage students to go and download their own copies, rather than downloading and distributing a copy to your students yourselves. Further, please encourage these articles to be cited. The journal also has a new website. Journal articles are featured on this website. When authors publish an article in MAQ, they will be asked to provide a blurb of the article. MAQ will publish this blurb in multiple languages. Authors can also put images on the site, and there is also room for supplemental materials. For example, authors can post videos, interviews, transcripts. In terms of the book review section, the whole review is available. There are two blogs: Critical Care is an outwardly focused blog site for submissions of 800 words on a current issue. MAQ solicits input for this blog, but submissions can also be sent to Theresa McPhail. McPhail has backdoor to Huffington Post, so posts that have broad appeal may be able to make their way to this site as well. Themes covered in the blog so far include: 1) reactions to the assault on the ACA and 2) a forum for discussion of Ed Young’s book on the microbiome. These posts should be jargon free as they are meant to reach wider audience. Second Sphere is a more inward focused blog composed of curated collections of texts up to 2000 words. Themes have included: 1) Sensorial engagements in a toxic world, and 2) a book forum on Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye graphic novel Lissa, in which forum type reviews are written. MAQ will only look at special issues once a year. Associate editors and the editor looks at special issue proposals. The review for special issues is July; Themes for this year include: 1) Humans, Animals, Health; and 2) The Global Psyche. If you are asked to review something, please say yes. 

6. AAA Program Committee news – Mary Anglin

Mary Anglin thanks everyone who sent in abstracts. This was an unusually competitive year with a lot of rejections. Anglin acknowledges that the new software system was a frustrating experience for all. The new software system for the meeting was difficult to use, and there is work underway to make it more user friendly. Thanks are given to the members of the Program Committee. The theme for next year for the AAA meetings is “Change in the anthropological imagination: resistence, resilience, adaptation.” Jason de Leon will be head of the Program Committee (for AAA). EJ Sobo asks the audience: what other events would you like to see, or topics that we need to have a section on next year?

7. SfAA Program Committee news – Elise Andaya + Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

Elise Andaya relays that there were 12 organized panels submitted. There were 81 volunteer papers which were organized into 17 panels. There were a range of themes, including reproduction, social justice and health access, addiction, diabetes, cancer, mental health. For the plenary sessions, we will have medical anthropologists reflect on social justice mobilization. The Program Committee is excited about a dynamic and topical program. 

8. Special Interest Group (SIG) news – Catie Willging  (subreport – membership: Elizabeth Wirtz)

Conga Line (aka March of the SIGs)

  AIDS and Anthropology Research Group (AARG) Adriana Garriga-López

  Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) Shana Harris

  Anthropological Response to Health Emergencies Group Kristin Hedges

  Anth. and Mental Health Interest Group (AMHIG) Michael R. Duke

  Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and

         Integrative Medicine (IM) Group Emery Eaves

* Council on Anthropology and Reproduction (CAR) Jan Brunson

  Critical Anthropology of Global Health (CAGH) Sara Lewis

  Disability Research Interest Group (DRI) Molly Bloom

* Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group (DABIG) Margaret Souza

  Medical Anthropology Student Association (MASA) Carolyne Egesa

  Research on U.S. Health and Healthcare (RUSH) Shannon Satterwhite

  Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) Interest Group Nayantara Sheoran

  Science & Medicine in South Asia (SMSA) Danya Glabau

*Business Meetings for 2 starred SIGs are tomorrow, 12:15-1:30.

Catie Willging relays that there are 13 SIGs that are active. The SIGs play an essential role in the association. They enable members to stay engaged in their speciality areas. The SIGS have an interested and growing membership. There were two new SIGs created this past year: the Anthropological Responses to Health Emergencies (ARHE) and Research on United States Healthcare (RUSH). SIGs also organized several panels and roundtables for the AAA meetings. Congratulations are extended to the Anthropology and Mental Health Interest Group SIG on a preconference workshop. The multi-SIG roundtable was also highly informative (Health Care and Well-Being in Trump’s America). Roundtables help build camaraderie within the broader SMA membership. Next roundtable “Diagnostic normalization of hatred”. 

The SIGs are presented to the SMA membership, represented by their Chairpersons. 

Elizabeth Wirtz discusses the new membership tracking system for the SIGs. This is a pilot program. We are concluding the membership drive on December 15 and encourage those who are members of SIGs to become members of the SMA. However, one can still be part of SIGs if one is not AAA/SMA members. Tracking membership is important because it helps the SMA determine resource allocation, as well as helps the SMA have a sense of how each SIG is doing. 

Catie Willging presents the prizes for the SIGs, as follows:

AIDS and Anthropology Research Group Clark Taylor Professional Paper Prize: Adia Benton and Nora Kenworthy. 

AIDS and Anthropology Research Group Clark Undergraduate Paper Prize: Joel van de Sande

Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Graduate Paper Prize: Allison Schlosser

Council on Anthropology and Reproduction Graduate Paper Prize: Adom Heron

Critical Anthropology for Global Health Rudolf Virchow Award:

Undergraduate Category: Peter Xander

Graduate Category: Laura Meek

Professional Category: Megan Carney

Disability Research Interest Group Travel Awards: Elizabeth Lewis and Clara Devlieger

Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group:

Graduate Study Prize: Helen Meek

Undergraduate Prize: Vincent Belloch

Science and Medicine in South Asia Graduate Paper Prize: Venera R. Khalikova

Science, Technoalogy, and Medicine Special Interest Group Graduate Paper Award: Elena Sobrino
Willging introduces Junko Kitanaka as the new SIG liaison. 
9. Board Awards – Lesley Sharp (Prizes Chair)

Lesley Sharp acknowledge Catie Willging for her work as SIG liaison and who has done a phenomenal job in that role, particular in fostering the SIG emphasis on the students. 

a) STUDENT TRAVEL AWARDS – Alexander Roedlach (chair), Carolyn Egesa. Allison Kabel, Shantha Karthigesu, Peter Lee

Awards 5 students with travel grant to the AAA – Acknowledge the work of committee members; Alan Agarnoff (Harvard U); Hachicha Artan (Yale); Steven McIsaac (Berkeley); Laura Meek (UC Davis); Catherine Warren (Harvard)
b) DISSERTATION AWARD – Erin Finley (chair), Kathryn Azevedo-Mendoza, Gemmae Fix, Kenneth Maes, Maisha Standifer 

Dr. Gabriela Sheets (Emory) “The Developmental Ecology of the Infant Microbiome”
c) MASA MENTORSHIP AWARD – C. Egesa (chair); Peter Lee, Allison Bloom, Shantha Karthigesu

(Focuses on excellence in graduate mentorship) 

Dr. Kimberley Theidon (Tufts);

Theidon gave an impassioned impromptu speech on sexual harassment in the academy, and called on us to voice our dissent to an academic culture that silences both victims as well as their advocates and continues to uphold those who wield their power in abusive ways. 
d) NEW MILLENNIUM BOOK AWARD – Junko Kitanaka (chair), Cheryl Mattingly, Eugene Raikhel

Charles Briggs and Clara Mantini-Briggs  (UC Berkeley)– Tell Me Why My Children Died

Harrison Solomon (Duke) – Metabolic Living: Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India
e) WHR RIVERS UNDERGRADUATE PAPER PRIZE – Mary Anglin (convener); Alyson O’Daniel and Mary Alice Scott (co-chairs), Shan-Estelle Brown, Beatriz Reyes-Foster 

A Taylor Silverman (Brown) – “Timing Illness”

f) STEVEN POLGAR PRIZE – Eileen Moyer (chair) Carlo Caduff, Elizabeth Lewis

(The Polgar prize goes to the best paper published in MAQ)

Rima Praspaliauskiene (UC Berkeley) – “Enveloped Lives: Practicing Health and Care in Lithuania”
g) EILEEN BASKER MEMORIAL PRIZE – Lesley Sharp (chair), Virginia Dominguez,Tine Gammeltoft, 

Robert Wyrod (University of Colorado) – AIDS and Masculinity in an African City

h) GEORGE FOSTER PMA AWARD – Andrea Whittaker (chair), Mimi Nichter, Narelle Warren

Emily Mendenhall (School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University)
10. Election/nominations news – Eileen Moyer

Thank you, outgoing Board members: Juan Luque, Lesley Sharp, Catie Willging,

Welcome incoming Board members: Elise Andaya, Eugene Raikhel, Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

Eileen Moyer thanks our outgoing board members and welcomes our incoming board members who were elected last year.  

11. New Business? 

Charles Briggs (UC Berkeley) reads a resolution regarding the grad tax that he would like to have discussed at the Business Meeting. The text read is as follows: 

“Whereas current legislation pending in the U.S. House would change the status of tuition waivers that graduate students receive in keeping with their work as teaching assistants, such that it would be categorized as taxable income,

Whereas the result of this change would raise the taxes paid by graduate students in such a way that most graduate students could not survive on their net incomes,

Whereas this proposed change would exacerbate the way that social and economic inequalities limit access to the discipline,

Whereas this proposed change jeopardize the future of medical anthropology by decimating the ranks of its future members: 

Be it resolved that we, the members of the SMA, declare our firm opposition to this change,

Be it further resolved that we ask the AAA Executive Board to declare the AAA as standing in firm opposition to this change and, if adopted, to convey this resolution to news outlets and members of Congress.

Submitted by SMA member Charles L. Briggs, University of California, Berkeley
A motion from the floor to commend that the board discuss this resolution and if approved forward to the AAA Board. The motion is seconded. Briggs will forward the resolution to the Board who will take this up further.  
12. Serenade – Bryan Page offers a gracious and humorous serenade for the SMA membership. 

13. President’s Closing Statement – EJ Sobo

In her closing words as President, EJ Sobo advocates for service to the profession and service to society. Over the past 2 years, SMA’s ability to respond rapidly to publicly important emergent events has grown. We have developed the TIG Mechanism which resulted in the ZIKA group and we have created a model process for speaking to those in power. This past year the SMA sent its first official SMA letter to a US president, a letter discussing our concerns with the changes to US healthcare system, within the context of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We have posted on our website resources to help you with advocacy. Sobo thanks the SMA board for its service, as well as the outgoing administrative assistant Cassandra Wilson 

14. Passing of the Gavel 

15. Adjournment – Arachu Castro 

Arachu Castro thanks EJ Sobo for her leadership, and thanks incoming members for their participation in the SMA. Castro encourage more people to sign up for the SMA. Women are over-represented in the SMA, we are proud to be a part of it.         

*** Please stay for the SMA Community ‘Meet and Greet’ ***


1. CURRENT SUSTAINING MEMBERS – Thank you for your continued support and dedication


Vincanne Adams

Christian Adonizio

Maria Lourdes Alcantara

Seth Anderson

Grace Bascope

Aditya Bharadwaj

Peter Brown

Mara Buchbinder

Arachu Castro

Noel Chrisman

Catalina Denman

William Dressler

Mark Edberg

Michael Ennis-McMillan

Pamela Erickson

Judith Farquhar

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg

Ruthbeth Finerman

Carol Goldin

Kathleen Hanlon-Lundberg

Helena Hansen

Marcia Inhorn

Caroline Jones

Carl Kendall

Laurence Kirmayer

Peter Kunstadter

Lynn Kwiatkowski

Betty Levin

John Luque

Spero Manson

Rebekah Marsh

Rebecca Martinez

Janet McGrath

Emily Mendenhall

Marsha Michie

Joyce Millen

Hanne Mogensen

Michael Nathan

Kathryn Oths

Bjarke Oxlund

John Page

Rupert Poeschl

Sarah Raskin

Eric Ratliff

Alexander Rödlach

Ellen Rubinstein

Barbara Rylko-Bauer

Lesley Sharp

Margaret Souza

Amy Speier

Janelle Taylor

Alayne Unterberger

Elizabeth Whitaker

Linda Whiteford

Cathleen Willging

Maria-Keiko Yasuoka

Richard Zimmer 

2. 2017 SMA COMMITTEES – Thank you for your service!  

AAA PROGRAM – Mary Anglin (chair), John (Juan) Luque, Cathleen Wilging (from the Board), Veronica Miranda (‘at large’ member)

COMMUNICATIONS – Erin Finley (chair), Sean Bruna and Saira Mehmood (SMA staff), Eugene Raikhel (‘at large’ member).

MEMBERSHIP – Juan Luque (chair), Zakea Boeger and Carolyne Egesa (MASA reps), Lesley Jo Weaver (‘at large’ member), Alex Roedlach and Lesley Sharp (from the Board)

NOMINATIONS – Eileen Moyer (chair), Dominique Behague and Sheila Cosminky (‘at large’ members), Arachu Castro and Junko Kitanaka (from the Board)

POLICY – Andrea Whittaker (chair); Arachu Castro and Cathleen Willging (from the Board); Norah Schwartz and Ellen Gruenbaum (‘at large’ member)

SFAA PROGRAM – Arachu Castro (chair); Elise Andaya, Nolwazi Mkhwanazi (‘at large’ members)
3. CURRENT SUPPORT STAFF & VOLUNTEERS – Thank you for your service!  


Cassandra Wilson (Administrative Assistant)

Saira Mehmood (Digital Communications Mgr.)

Stephanie Cruz (Listserv Moderator)

Elizabeth Wirtz (SIG Membership Coordinator)