February 2019, BAS updates

Happy new year, BAS membership!

The following monthly e-blast provides several updates on Biological Anthropology Section member news. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me (avanarsd@wellesley.edu).


Thank you to everyone who took the time and resources to attend the meetings in San Jose this year. I would like to especially thank our outgoing Chair, Katie MacKinnon, and our program chair, Christopher Dana Lynn, for putting together an outstanding program. We were excited to feature Dr. Barbara King as our distinguished lecture and to recognize Sang-Hee Lee with the Howells Book Prize for her recent book, Close Encounters with Humankind.

In addition to Katie’s transition from chair to past-chair, the 2018 Annual Meetings marked the end of Julie Lesnik’s service as a member at-large, and Melanie Beasley as the student member at-large on the executive committee. Incoming members of the committee including Holly Dunsworth (chair-elect), Kerry Dore (member at-large), and Amanda Hardie (student member at-large).

Amanda Hardie

Holly Dunsworth

Kerry Dore




Next year’s meetings will be hosted in collaboration with the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) in Vancouver (Nov. 20-24). It is not too early to begin thinking about proposals! The theme of next year’s meeting is, “Changing Climates: Struggle, Collaboration, and Justice//Changer d’air : Lutte, collaboration et justice.” If you are interested in submitting an Executive Session Proposal, submissions are due Feb. 7 by 3 p.m. ET. The deadline for regular proposals and abstracts is April 10 at 3 p.m. ET. If you have questions about a proposal, feel free to reach out to our BAS Program Chair Christopher Dana Lynn (cdlynn@ua.edu).



A couple of brief notes on BAS business matters. You will be getting a ballot later on in the year for new executive committee positions. This year we will be electing a new member at-large (replacing Marc Kissel, who will conclude his service after the 2019 meetings). In addition to electing an at-large member, the BAS ballot will also include a vote on proposed changes to our section by-laws. These changes, announced at our business meeting in San Jose, reflect relatively minor changes to the existing by-laws intended to improve the functionality and resilience of our leadership structure. The ballot will include more substantive details, but the primary change would be to add an official program co-chair to our executive committee and to add language prohibiting harassment and discrimination in the context of our annual meetings. These proposed changes come with full support of the executive committee.

Best wishes on the beginning of a great new year,

Adam Van Arsdale

BAS chair

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Wellesley College