Race, Gender, and Nation in the Imperial US: Reconfigurations of Power in the Local and Global
105th American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting
November 15-19, 2006
San Jose Convention Center
San Jose, CA
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2006
The dominance of the global economy by the “party of Davos” (as a Nation writer recently characterized the transnational capitalist class) is shaping new capitalist social relations that reconfigure race, gender, and nation. Recognizing few national allegiances, transnational firms and the hyper-rich have benefited from the progressive erosion of Western social welfare states, privatization and corporate welfare, and military imperialism ensuring access to labor, raw materials, and new markets. Capitalist and military imperialism have overextended the US state’s economic and military reach abroad while curtailing rights and abrogating any remnants of the New Deal social compact at home. Consequent with the US state’s cuts in social welfare services, the state has abetted finance and rentier capitalists by deregulating banking and credit while allowing the most sweeping use of eminent domain since the English enclosures. Showing no respect for national boundaries that do not benefit them directly, the Davos class reaps profits from death and displacement, exploitation and primitive accumulation. Finally, race and gender – which have served as organizing principles in the post-war expansion of a white, suburban, heterosexual American national identity – are undergoing tremendous, often conflicting change as the class trajectories of the vaunted American middle class are reversed. This session will explore these transformations in an attempt to recognize the emerging patterns of race, gender, and nation in the 21st Century.
Anthropologists, historians, and geographers have given us a wealth of data on shifts in the global and state-level political economy, yet the careful, textured ethnographic study proposed – of the consequences of these data on what we might imagine the “’people’ or ‘party’ of Porto Alegre” – does not exist in sufficient quantity. Ethnography must provide a window on the disruption of race, gender and nation in the local if we are to understand local and global political economies. This session will begin an attempt to address this, examining the play of global political economy in an urban US that is undergoing “thirdworldization” (Chossudovsky) and a realignment of axes of oppression and dominance. Session participants will explore the local by tracing out changing configurations of race, gender, and nation that, on the one hand, ideologically underwrite the depredations of capitalists or serve as subject positions useful for maintaining hegemony and, on the other, present useful imagined communities from which local political action might emerge.
Individual papers should attempt to address:
Cross-race and/or cross-gender alliances along class lines or lines of political struggle
Criminalizing and racializing the poor as a form of middle class solidarity
Poor peoples’ campaigns
Cross-group organizing on prisons, healthcare, education, property zoning
Differential use of “race” within US “racial” groups
Differential investments in “whiteness” among European Americans of different class backgrounds and trajectories
Sexuality, race, and gender in housing markets
Differential imaginings of US nationalism along race, gender, and or class lines;
Race, gender and nationalism among Gulf War and “War on Terror” veterans and their families
Gender and nationalism in American religious life
Please send abstracts and queries by March 15, 2006 to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstracts should be of no more than 250 words and follow AAA guidelines http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/2006/genrules.htm.
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