Perth. The Journal Goes Down-Under: A Review of Activities at the Perth IUAES Conference, July 5–8, 2011 (James Sheffield)


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Journal of Globalization Studies' editors convened a panel at the Perth IUAES conference held at The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia on July 5–8, 2011. This was a Combined Conference of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) and the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa / New Zealand (ASAANZ). Authors from 18 countries submitted nearly 500 paper abstracts across 59 panels. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this was the largest anthropological/ethnological conference so far held ‘down-under’ in the southern hemisphere.

The conference theme was ‘Knowledge and value in a globalizing world: Disentangling dichotomies, querying unities’. The conference sought to ‘catalyze a global discussion on our basic categories of understanding, both as they have informed developments in anthropology and its various subdisciplines and in popular discourses regarding the contours and trends of our globalizing world’ (Conference Program, p. 21).1 The following example of the need to integrate anthropology and globalization was provided by the organizing committee:

When the first steps were taken towards planning this adventure nearly three years ago, the interconnectedness of our present and futures around the world was revealed with brutal clarity by the global financial crisis, as well as by the global repercussions of natural catastrophes rendered more devastating by global climate change. Three years on much is still unsettled (Conference Program, p. 8).

The panel convened by the JGS editors was closely supportive of the conference theme. The panel was entitled ‘Globalization and anthropology: Issues, levels, problems, and perspectives’. It provided a forum for the critical examination of historical, political, ecological and economic dimensions of globalization in the light of cultural and social values. That is, the panel sought to catalyze a discussion on integrating anthropology and globalization that started with the themes employed to organize articles published in the journal. In this aim the convenors were successful. There was lively discussion on all of the presentations. These included:

Session 1. Chair: James Sheffield

Paper 1: One human race – universal human identity and global citizenship as foundations for social cooperation and progress

Walter Jaros, Horizon Institute for Health Promotion and Global Learning, Tasmania, Australia

Paper 2: Trans-boundary democracy and decision making: facing up to convergent social, economic and environmental challenges

Janet McIntyre, Flinders University, Australia

Paper 3: Indigenous, Aboriginal, Gugu Badhun: Negotiating layers of identity in local, national and global activism

Petray Theresa, James Cook University, Australia

Paper 4: Globalisation, failed states and pharmaceutical colonialism in Africa

Tanya Lyons, Flinders University, Australia

Session 2. Chair: Janet McIntyre

Paper 1: Electronic discourse in inter-governmental decision making: a case example

James Sheffield, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Paper 2: Striving for sustainable global democracy through group decision making processes: a critical review of an online course to model transformative praxis

Ken Bausch, Tom Flanagan, Tony Made, Kelly Mackenzie, and Janet McIntyre

Paper 3: A new approach for cross-sectoral and organizational collaboration and communication to deal with increasing complexity and promote effective change

Ockie J. H. Bosch, Kambiz E. Maani, Nam C. Nguyen, The University of Queensland, Australia

Paper 4: The global financial system: Pros, cons, and anthropological implications Leonid Grinin, Volgograd Center for Social Research, Russia

There was considerable interest in the Journal of Globalization Studies. Many attendees visited the area set aside for the journal. This featured a wall display of large and colourful covers of the first three issues, along with supplies of flyers and takeaway copies of the journal. A large number of these items were also distributed to aspiring authors during conversations throughout the conference.

I want to thank my co-convenors, Leonid Grinin and Andrey Korotayev, and those who participated in our panel. We also thank the organizing committee for their support of the journal.

Note

1 http://www.anthropologywa.org/iuaes_aas_asaanz_conference2011/0002.html