October 2021 Newsletter

Dear CUAA Community,

I hope that you all are well! Winter is fast approaching, and so too are a variety of events that I recommended browsing through. In November, CUAA will host a meet-and-greet, their annual business meeting, and two roundtables at this year’s AAA conference.

As always, please continue to send me publications, events, news, and resources that you believe would be of interest to our community. The deadline for that information to be included in next month’s newsletter is November 8th.

Carry on,


Upcoming Events

Public Parks as Public Space, a Public Lecture

Hosted by Public Space Research Group, West (PSRG-W)

Date: Oct 22, 2021 at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (1:30 PM EST)

Register in advance for this meeting:



Rudy Ortega Junior, Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and Chairman of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission

Craig Stone, Artist, Singer, and Direct of the American Indian Studies Program at California State University Long Beach


CUAA Meet & Greet

Stop by and network with new and existing members alike. This a great opportunity to introduce graduate students to our section of the AAA and get involved with our section’s working groups and events.

Date: Nov. 11th, 2021 at 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Pacific Time (6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. EST)

Register in advance for this meeting:


CUAA Business Meeting

All members of CUAA are invited to attend our annual business meeting. If you have ideas, thoughts, or concerns about our chapter, or are interested in learning more about our current endeavors, please stop by!

When: Nov 15, 2021, 12:30 PM Pacific Time (3:30 PM EST)

Register in advance for this meeting:



AAA Conference – CUAA Roundtables

Roundtable: What is Critical About Critical Urban Anthropology?

When: Nov 18, 2021 7:15 AM-9:00 AM Pacific (10:15 AM – 12:00 PM EST)

Room: Key Ballroom 9 (AAA meetings in Baltimore)

Description: This roundtable explores what a critical engagement with the city and a commitment to social justice and transformation through the intersection of ethnography and politically informed action offers for our future. Calls for a public ethnography, militant ethnography and protest anthropology reflect a growing interest in producing knowledge that is useful, benefits those we work with and addresses urban problems. We will be highlighting a new generation of scholars who are reformulating these concerns and will identify theories, methods, and ethnographies that will lead urban anthropology in new directions and encourage more engaged practice.

Participants: Suzanne Scheld, Susan Falls, Julian B. Brash, Setha M. Low, Rashmi Sadana, Roberto E. Barrios, John L. Jackson Jr., Matilde Cordoba Azcarate, Jeff Maskovsky

Roundtable: Truth Be Told: Insights from Applications of Anthropology to Urban Public Space Issues

When: November 17, 2021 1:30 PM-3:15 PM Pacific Time (4:30 PM – 6:15 PM Eastern Time)

Room: Room 336 (AAA meetings in Baltimore)

Description: This roundtable is intended to provide a timely opportunity to discuss urban anthropologists’ contributions to addressing issues concerning current public space use and access. It explores this topic at a moment when the field of urban anthropology is embracing a critical perspective and as the politics of public space are increasingly essential to unpacking fundamental aspects of contemporary urban life regarding issues of informality, extralegality, and gender and racial justice. We will also compare notes regarding the experiences and insights that session participants have gained through their applications of long-term ethnographic findings to public space issues. 

Participants: Claire Panetta, Nathan Romine, Jayne Howell, Colin McLaughlin-Alcock, Matilde Cordoba Azcarate, Helen A Regis, Britt Oates, Suzanne Scheld, Walter E. Little, Beth Baker, Setha M. Low


Recent Publications

Street Sovereigns: Young Men and Makeshift State Urban Haiti

By Chelsey L. Kivland, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College

How do people improvise political communities in the face of state collapse—and at what cost? Street Sovereigns explores the risks and rewards taken by young men on the margins of urban Haiti who broker relations with politicians, state agents, and NGO workers in order to secure representation, resources, and jobs for themselves and neighbors. Moving beyond mainstream analyses that understand these groups—known as baz (base)—as apolitical, criminal gangs, Chelsey Kivland argues that they more accurately express a novel mode of street politics that has resulted from the nexus of liberalizing orders of governance and development with longstanding practices of militant organizing in Haiti.


A New African Elite: Place in the Making of a Bridge Generation (expected release Mar. 2022)

By Deborah Pellow, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Syracuse University.

Focusing on a sub-set of the Dagomba of northern Ghana, this book looks at the first generation to go through secondary school in the north. After university and post-graduate education, they relocate to Accra, the capital, hundreds of miles south. They crossed social and physical space and have become cosmopolitan while holding on to tradition and attachment to their hometown. This bridge generation are patrons to those living up north. This book charts their path into elite status and argues that they use the tools gained through education and social connections to influence politics back home.