The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Session 14. Wiley-Blackwell: The Evolution of Biological Anthropology: Defining a future discipline. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Benjamin Auerbach and Graciela Cabana

Thursday Afternoon, Ballroom A Add to calendar

In the 60 years since Washburn’s call for a “New Physical Anthropology,” in part responding first to the Eugenics Movement and then to the Modern Synthesis, biological anthropologists have constantly redefined their role both within anthropology and in relation to associated disciplines. As an outgrowth of this call, researchers in the field have made evolutionary theory and hypothesis testing a priority over descriptive and typological studies. Biological anthropologists have also attempted to integrate study goals with researchers in related fields, such as human genetics, psychology, and organismal biology. Despite these efforts, theoretical developments in these other fields continue to advance at a fast pace, but biological anthropology fails to incorporate those developments into its overall research program. Moreover, our integration with these disciplines, as well as our sibling subdisciplines within anthropology, has been inconstant and inconsistent among biological anthropologists. Without correcting these trends, bioanthropological research might ultimately be courting obsolescence.


This symposium seeks to address these issues with three goals for guiding the future of biological anthropology: 1) ensuring biological anthropology research is based on current knowledge and theoretical developments in associated fields (especially evolutionary biology); 2) reducing the balkanization among anthropological disciplines—even within biological anthropology—and improving interdisciplinary communication with other fields of research; and 3) making ethics and the incorporation of cultural knowledge a centerpiece to the practical application of biological anthropology studies. Using their research as examples, participants will discuss solutions and practical steps toward achieving these goals.


Scheduling Note: The symposium uses a modified Pecha Kucha format (20 slides per presenter @ 30 seconds per slide), with discussion periods from 1:45-2:00; 2:30-2:45; 3:30-3-3:45, and 4:05-4:20.  Papers are 10 minutes each, starting with the second paper at 1:15.

1:00-1:15 Add to calendar Evolving biological anthropology in twelve acts. Benjamin M. Auerbach, Graciela S. Cabana.
1:15-1:30 Add to calendar Crossing disciplines to challenge the adaptationist paradigm. Rebecca R. Ackermann.
1:30-1:45 Add to calendar Anthropology in the age of phenomics. Charles C. Roseman.
1:45-2:00 Add to calendar Integrating data in paleoanthropology: The future role of prehistoric fossils in the genomic present. Adam P. Van Arsdale.
2:00-2:15 Add to calendar Anthropological primatology: What field primatologists can contribute to the field . Jill D. Pruetz.
2:15-2:30 Add to calendar Narrative, meaning and the future of bioarchaeology . Christopher M. Stojanowski.
2:30-2:45 Add to calendar Health research in biological anthropology: Integrating evolutionary and biocultural approaches. J. Josh Snodgrass, William R. Leonard.
3:00-3:15 Add to calendar Living on the Edge: Interdisciplinarity and the Future of Biological Anthropology. Benedikt Hallgrimsson.
3:15-3:30 Add to calendar What kind of anthropologist am I? Boundary crossings and the new one-drop rule. Clarence C. Gravlee.
3:30-3:45 Add to calendar Without anthropology, biological anthropology is just biology, only more poorly funded. Jonathan Marks.
3:45-4:00 Add to calendar Ethical discourse in biological anthropology: Some things borrowed, something new. Trudy R. Turner.
4:00-4:15 Add to calendar Getting the Word Out: Community Consultation and Continuing Engagement in Anthropological Genetics Research. Dennis H. O'Rourke, M. Geoff. Hayes.
comments powered by Disqus