Registration links for SMA’s Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony

Dear fellow medical anthropologists:

I hope that you are well and holding your own during these difficult times.

I am writing to invite you to participate in SMA’s Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony. They will both take the form of Zoom webinars. The reason is that I recently attended the meeting of another section; held over Zoom, it was bombed in such a way that participants were faced with two minutes of… well, I won’t go into details. Both SMA events scheduled for consecutive Saturdays at noon, EST, in order to avoid conflict with work and children’s school schedules, keep from overlapping with events taking place on the AAA’s official Raising Our Voices 2020 Program, and in order to facilitate participation by medical anthropologists in other time zones. (We apologize in advance to members in Australia, Asia, and the Pacific.)

We urge you to participate in the AAA’s Raising Our Voices 2020, and I am listing some events below that might be of particular interest to medical anthropologists. We are holding our Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony on a different platform to be able to welcome anyone who wishes to participate. We also strongly urge you to renew your SMA membership if you are able to do so, thus assisting the Society in continuing its work even as many members face economic obstacles that prevent them from paying dues. Nevertheless, you do not have to renew your AAA and SMA memberships or register for Raising Our Voices 2020 to participate in these SMA events.

The SMA Business Meeting will take place Saturday, 7 November, 12:00-1:30pm EST.
Register for the Business Meeting

Participants will be invited to ask questions or offer comments using the Q&A function. Rather than reading reports, presenters will focus us on the big issues. If you want to get into the weeds, please read their reports, which are available on the SMA Library section of the AAA Communities platform.

The SMA Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, 14 November, 12:00-2:00pm EST. 
Register for the Awards Ceremony

Alas, we had hoped that this event might provide us with an opportunity to party, dance, and chat. But COVID-19 will not keep us from celebrating the awardees this year, and I think that it will be especially meaningful to see that remarkable work in medical anthropology is continuing, despite it all.

Closed captioning will be available for both events. Please join us!

I would like to congratulate Kristin Hedges and Deon Claiborne, Co-Chairs of the Anthropological Response to Health Emergencies, an SMA SIG. The ARHE won the American Anthropological Association President’s Award for 2020. Congratulations for all of your great work on bringing anthropological perspectives to bear on the COVID-19 pandemic!

In closing, thanks for all you do for SMA and medical anthropology, for helping keep your families and friends, and communities healthy, and for building a more justice, equitable, and inclusive world.

With best and healthy wishes,


Charles L. Briggs

SMA President


Some Live-Streamed sessions from the Raising Our Voices 2020 Preliminary Program that are likely to engage SMA members. (N.B.: There will certainly be more Live-Streamed discussions as well as those available through View-on-Demand that will interest medical anthropologists, this is just a first-glance list.)

Friday, 6 Nov 5:00-6:00, Channel 2

Anthropological Insights for Rapid Mobilization during Covid-19 and Other Health Emergencies

Saturday, 7 November, 2:30-3:30 Channel 2

Gendered Inequalities during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Inscribing of Structural Vulnerabilities on Women’s Bodies

Saturday, 7 November, 6:15-7:15 Channel

Pathogenic Politics: Life, Death, and Social Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Monday, 9 November, 3:45-4:45, Channel 2

The Social Life of COVID-19 in Chile: Intersecting Crises and Deepening Precarities

Tuesday, 10 Nov, 2:30-3:30 Channel 1

Author Meets Critics: Can Açiksöz‘s Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey

Tuesday, 10 Nov, 2:30-3:30 Channel 2

Vanderbilt University’s COVID-19 Virtual Self-Screening Tool: Engaged Anthropology and the Race to Redetermine the Social Determinants of Health, Reducing Risk and Rates of Infection through Social Science and Technology

Thursday, 12 November, 6:15-7:15, Channel 3

Engaging Local Knowledge and Practices during COVID-19 and Other Health Emergencies

Saturday, 14 November, 3:45-4:45, Channel 2

The Futures of Writing in Medical Anthropology