HRAF Spring 2021 Conference Attendance Recap

Video conference

HRAF was pleased to attend several conferences and events this Spring, beginning with our own Anthropology Day virtual festivities at the end of February, which featured the UConn Stamford Anthropology Society, eHRAF projects from UConn Honors students, and a day of talks from HRAF President Carol Ember and interns Benjamin Gonzalez and Daniel McCloskey.

From March 9-14, 2021, we attended the IUAES2020 virtual congress, sponsored by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. The theme of the virtual event, Coming of Age on Earth, “suggests that we look not only at our collective human past and present in a search for solutions, but also at new challenges to our presumed trajectory by acknowledging generational change in the form of innovations, cultural movements, different ways of seeing and mobilizing legacies in dealing with everyday changes.” Dr. Francine Barone and Matthew Longcore presented Teaching and Learning with the eHRAF Databases in Panel 41: Technology: Teaching and Learning Anthropology Around the World. This presentation focused on the development of the eHRAF Workbooks and other resources for teaching and learning anthropology while considering the challenges of remote learning.

IUAES 2021

Next, the Society for Applied Anthropology Virtual Annual Meeting took place from March 18-19 and 22-27, 2021. The SfAA Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for scholars, practicing social scientists, and students from a variety of disciplines and organizations to discuss their work and brainstorm for the future. HRAF Anthropologist Ian Skoggard chaired the session “Disasters and Climate Change” on Friday, March 26th. In this session, Ian presented “Local Knowledge and Social Capital in Disaster Relief: A Cross-Cultural Perspective” with Carol R. Ember (President, HRAF), Rachele Pierro (HRAF Researcher), and Emily Pitek (GWU, former HRAF Research Assistant). The following is the abstract from their talk:

We examine the ethnographic record for ways local knowledge and social capital are used in disaster relief. We discuss the different kinds of coping mechanisms employed, defined as “technological,” “subsistence,” “economic,” and “religious”; and the different kinds of social capital: “bonding,” “bridging,” and “linking.” We analyze the interrelationships between these coping mechanisms and types of social capital together with types of disasters. A preliminary finding is that societies with more technological and subsistence coping mechanisms have more religious coping mechanisms, suggesting that religious strategies do not compensate for lack of coping mechanisms but rather enable multiple kinds of disaster responses.

In addition to chairing this session, Ian took part in a one-on-one mentoring workshop along with other experts from the Society for Anthropological Sciences (SAS). Ian focused on eHRAF coding for research, as shown in the workshop slide below. You can download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Ian Skoggard presentation slide

From April 15-17, HRAF exhibited at the Society for Applied Archaeology (SAA) Annual Conference. On Saturday, April 17th, Matthew Longcore and Dr. Francine Barone were available to demonstrate the eHRAF Workbooks for teaching and learning with eHRAF Archaeology, which are designed to complement any introductory archaeology textbook or curriculum. The HRAF booth, which showcases the eHRAF Archaeology database and our latest teaching materials for introductory archaeology, remains available for registered SAA conference attendees to visit until July 2021. If you have not already stopped by, be sure to visit to learn more about our eHRAF Archaeology database trials and exclusive introductory rates for new members.

On Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24, HRAF attended the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC) Biennial Conference. The conference included panels on the teaching of anthropology and workshops on various topics. On Friday, Dr. Francine Barone presented “OER Adventures in Anthropology: Ethnographic Insights and Nascent Worlds” in the Friday morning panel on Innovations in Teaching Anthropology. The presentation showcases original eHRAF-based teaching materials designed during the pandemic. On Saturday, Francine was joined by Matthew Longcore to co-present a one-hour workshop titled “Enhancing Community College Teaching and Learning with eHRAF Workbooks for Anthropology and Archaeology”.

SACC eHRAF Workshop

HRAF is grateful to the organizers and attendees of these excellent virtual conferences for the opportunity to engage in anthropological and archaeological debates, and to share the research and instructional materials currently we have produced. As we look forward to next year’s meetings that may be safely conducted in person, we hope that the valuable experiences and lessons learned within these evolving digital spaces will be incorporated into future events.