American Anthropological Association Long-Range Plan Wiki

This wiki aims to crowd-source the creation of a long-range plan for the American Anthropological Association that is more inclusive and representative of all its members.

This wiki was established because of concerns over the recent removal of all mention of "science" from the AAA's Long-Range Plan, in particular the opening section on "Mission." As the world's largest anthropology association, and one that includes members from all sub-disciplines in anthropology, this Mission is more than a vision for the AAA. It is also a vision for the future of anthropology.

Alongside concerns over anthropology as bridging both science and humanities, discussion emerged over new wording "to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects" and the loss of the phrase of "anthropological knowledge and its use to solve human problems" and what these changes represent for applied anthropology and other forms of practice inside and outside the discipline.

The changes in the long-range plan were drafted in committee, sent to AAA section heads for review, and then voted on by the AAA executive board. This wiki hopes to create a more open discussion and review of this long-range plan and its vision for anthropology.

There are two sections to this wiki. The first section consists of pages on Mission, Long-Range Plan, Vision, and Objectives - these are the core parts of the AAA Long-Range Plan, and are presented in the same order as the existing AAA document.

The second section provides pages to discuss the controversy. Inclusive Points is for describing major points that the overall long-range plan should address, and represents a place for expanding on what we want this plan to include. History aims to provide historical context for the change from the old long-range plan to the new one. Due Process will focus on how the AAA came to change the long-range plan and controversy over how this decision specifcally happened. Documents and Coverage is a place to upload and link to important documents related to the long-range plan and the overall controversy, as well as link to online coverage on the long-range plan controversy.

Some Guidelines

  • Be concise.
  • Aim for inclusiveness.
  • The wiki can have multiple versions of any particular section. This is preferable to wholesale cutting of other people's wording and ideas.

Old Wording of AAA Mission

  • Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects, through archeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research; and to further the professional interests of American anthropologists, including the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and its use to solve human problems.

  • Section 2. To advance the science of anthropology, the Association shall: Foster and support the development of special anthropological societies organized on a regional or functional basis; Publish and promote the publication of anthropological monographs and journals; Encourage anthropological research, act to coordinate activities of members of the Association with those of other organizations concerned with anthropology, and maintain effective liaison with related sciences and their organizations.

  • Section 3. To further the professional interests of anthropologists, the Association shall, in addition to those activities described under Section 2: Take action on behalf of the entire profession and integrate the professional activities of anthropologists in the special aspects of the science; and Promote the widespread recognition and constant improvement of professional standards in anthropology.

New Wording of AAA Mission

  • Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects. This includes, but is not limited to, archaeological, biological, social, cultural, economic, political, historical, medical, visual, and linguistic anthropological research. The Association also commits itself to further the professional interests of anthropologists, including the dissemination of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation.

  • Section 2. To advance the public understanding of humankind, the Association shall: Publish and promote the publication of anthropological journals and monographs; Encourage anthropological teaching, research, and practice; and maintain effective liaison with related knowledge disciplines and their organizations.

  • Section3. To further the professional interests of anthropologists, the Association shall promote the widespread recognition and constant improvement of professional standards in anthropology.