SfAA President’s Column

February 1, 2012

By Merrill Eisenberg
University of Arizona

Merrill Eisenberg

Greeting to all SfAA members!

Preparations for our Baltimore meeting are well underway! These meetings promise to be both informative and fun thanks to the many members who submitted excellent abstracts, and the hard work of our Program Chair, Bill Roberts, the Program Committee, and our staff in Oklahoma City. Bill’s update on the meetings (see page 22) provides a good overview. Here, I would like to highlight some of the unique aspects of these meetings that I am particularly excited about. This is followed by a brief overview of recent Board activities.

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Labor, Capital, and Tourism in Rural China: Notes from an Applied Anthropologist in the Field

February 1, 2012

By Xianghong Feng
Eastern Michigan University

Xianghong Feng

Can you help me think what small business would be good for me to do?” San Ge1 asked me. It was after dinner at my host family’s (San Ge’s older brother) house in Longcun2 Village in Fenghuang County in the summer of 2011. San Ge just returned from Tuo River Town, the urban and tourist center of Fenghuang, where he drove tourists with his mini-van to rural areas where there was no public transportation available. San Ge had bad business that day again. “I made only 20 yuan today, not even enough to cover the gas money.” He complained.

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Did You Drink Soup? Strains on Solidarity in Haiti

February 1, 2012

By Mark Schuller
Assistant Professor
African American Studies and Anthropology Department of Social Sciences
York College

Mark Schuller

Ou te bwe soup?” (Did you drink soup?) is one of the most common questions the days following the new year in Haiti.

This question refers to a tradition for January 1, also Haiti’s independence day, when in 1804, former slaves for the first and only time in world history threw off their former masters once and for all. Haiti’s independence sent shock waves throughout the world, particularly the slave societies in the Caribbean, where the colonial powers made their money through sugar. This fear helped British abolitionist Wilberforce achieve an end to the international slave trade three years later, in 1807.

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Coming Together to Uncover the “Fort” in Alexandria, Virginia

February 1, 2012

By Adrienne T. Washington
Ft. Ward and Seminary African American Descendants Society)

By Mary M. Furlong
University of Maryland and Ottery Group, Inc.

Mary M. Furlong

Their heads were bowed in respectful recognition. They held hands in a prayer circle, some closing their eyes in homage to the lost souls. Others stared incredulously at the perfectly dug earthen square at their feet with its telltale ochre patches signaling the unmistakable footprints of graves.

“Let us pray,” instructed Deacon Andrew Parker of the Oakland Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, to this congregation of African American descendants who assume these unmarked remains unearthed by archeologists in the church cemetery located in Fort Ward Park are those of their deceased ancestors.

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Planning, Public Policy, and Heritage Preservation: An Example of an Emergent Cemetery Project in North Carolina

February 1, 2012

By Roderick Kevin Donald
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
North Carolina State University

Roderick Kevin Donald

Abandoned and Neglected Cemeteries Are Our Responsibility Too

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, through its National and State Historic Preservation Programs, account for the preservation of cemeteries through the National Register of Historic Places Section 106 process. The US Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for managing and maintaining national and international cemeteries where US military have been laid to rest. Most states that have at least one military cemetery within its borders already have an established relationship with the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

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