Mintz Three Ancient Colonies Caribbean Themes and Variations

Sidney Mintz, Franz Boas, Anthropology

Mintz Three Ancient Colonies Caribbean Themes and VariationsAt the 2012 American Anthropological Association meetings, Sidney Mintz received the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology. This award is presented annually by the AAA to its members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievement that have well served the anthropological profession. Mintz was an especially exemplary fieldworker, and his 2010 book, Three Ancient Colonies: Caribbean Themes and Variations, contains wonderful reflections on fieldwork and history in Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. I used this book for a class on Peoples and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean–it’s very readable and subtly speaks to a vision of anthropology combining ethnography, history, and genuine care, empathy, for the people anthropologists live with.

Learning from Sidney Mintz was one of the main reasons I was eventually able to become an anthropologist. I was honored to play a small part in the 2012 AAA session Travels and Transformations of Labor and Commodities: Papers in Honor of Sidney W. Mintz. I read the paper from my graduate school colleague and friend George Baca, who was unable to attend. We also celebrated Mintz’s 90th birthday!

I copy below the people and papers on the panel, with links to some of their latest books or other activities at the AAA 2012 meetings. I am hoping to eventually provide brief summaries for each presentation. It’s an impressive testament to Mintz’s work as a scholar and educator. And as we assemble, feeling also the loss of Michel-Rolph Trouillot.


Organizer: Elizabeth E. Ferry (Brandeis University)
Ferry is also the discussant for GENDER AND NATURAL RESOURCES: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON EXTRACTIVE ECONOMIES AND COMMUNITIES and is giving a paper titled After Mining: Silver’s Virtual and Material Lives.

Chair: Kamran Asdar Ali (University of Texas, Austin)
Ali is also the discussant for MAKING SPACE PUBLIC IN AN AGE OF PRIVATIZATION: REPORTS FROM THE 21st CENTURY CITY.


Samuel Martinez (University of Connecticut) Allegations, Lost and Found: The Afterlife of Dominican Sugar Slavery
Martinez is also the organizer for REWRITING ETHNOGRAPHY: STEPHENS PRIZE WINNERS REFLECT.

Deborah Caro (Cultural Practice) Quinua: Can You Produce a Grain and Eat It Too? Dilemmas of An Andean Export Crop


Isar Pilar Godreau (University of Puerto Rico) From Puerto Rico to Baltimore and Back: Mintz’s Lessons On Factoring “History” Into Questions about “Race”

Andrew Brandel (Johns Hopkins University) Anthropological Lives: Scholarly Communities and the Making of Anthropological Knowledge–the Sidney W. Mintz Collection


Discussant: Jane Guyer (Johns Hopkins University)
Guyer also participated in the Invited Roundtable, FINANCIAL CRISES, ECONOMIC ACTION, AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL PRACTICE: ETHNOGRAPHY AND CALCULATIVE REASON.

Discussant: Emily Martin (New York University)
Martin is also presenting a paper titled The Erasure of Subjectivity In Psychological Experiments.


Bettina Ng’weno (University of California, Davis) Atlantic and Indian Ocean Conversations


George Baca (Dong-A University/John Jay College) Travels of Capitalism and the Nationalist Transformation of Korea: Peasant Resistance to Japanese Colonialism


Elizabeth C Dunn (University of Colorado) Displaced Food for Displaced People: Humanitarianism, Food Aid, and New Forms of Sovereignty
Dunn is also discussant for BUREAUCRACY, STANDARDS AND THE MAKING OF ORDER.


Roger Magazine (Universidad Iberoamericana) Local Motivation, Global Demand: A Mintzian Take On Rural Mexican Migration and Labor
Roger Magazine delivered a paper related and building on one of the chapters in his 2012 book The Village Is Like a Wheel: Rethinking Cargos, Family, and Ethnicity in Highland Mexico.


Sveta Yamin-Pasternak (University of Alaska Fairbanks) Smelling Walrus, Not Smelling Freedom (All While Drinking Coffee and Tea): Drawing On Insights From Sidney Mintz In Interpreting Thirst and Olfaction In the Arctic


Discussant: Katherine M Verdery (CUNY Graduate Center)
Verdery also presented a paper titled Cold War Imperialism and After: U.S. Anthropology of Eastern Europe.


Discussant: Sidney Mintz (Johns Hopkins University)

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