Hilarie Kelly

University of La Verne
Department of Sociology/Anthropology

SWAA President 2014–2015

Message from the SWAA President

Summer greetings to all my fellow SWAA members! After enjoying your wonderful company at the SWAA 2014 Conference in Garden Grove this past April, I am looking forward to meeting you all again at our 2015 SWAA conference in exciting Long Beach, California. As the new SWAA President, I will be working with Vice President Kim Martin and the rest of the SWAA Conference Planning Committee to organize a program of stimulating sessions, panel discussions, film offerings and other engaging activities that represent your interests in anthropology.

Thanks to Past President Eric Canin for a great 2014 Conference! SWAA Board members and, especially, the Conference Planning Committee, work hard to organize these annual gatherings. The benefit is obvious: camaraderie, intellectual rewards, a sense of accomplishment, and always lots of fun! Together with the membership, we all make this happen. Let’s keep up the good work!

I have greatly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people through SWAA and its conferences. A long-time Southern California resident, I have taught at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach, and recently joined the University of La Verne (next to the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona.) My research has focused on Africa, international development, gender, aging, and global diasporas. I have special interest in contemporary African, Indian, Caribbean and Pacific Island diasporic communities, which has led me to a great deal of participant observation of their dance forms. I also do medical anthropology and visual anthropology, and combine these interests in my work with the Himalayan Health Exchange organization, working in India.

As always, our 2015 SWAA conference will focus on what keeps anthropology relevant and creative. The precise venue, dates and theme are still in the planning stages, so pay close attention to our quarterly newsletters and keep checking the SWAA web site and Facebook page for updates. We invite participation from all fourt fields of anthropology and related disciplines. As Jonathan Karpf, SWAA President in 2013 wrote in his spring presidential newsletter message that year, SWAA is “a comprehensive and inclusive anthropological association that is welcoming of scholarship, applied work, activism, and intellectual passions from across the anthropological spectrum.” I could not have said it better myself.

I encourage every one of you to help us continue the SWAA tradition of great conferences. Start planning now so that you will be ready when that Call for Papers is issued in the fall of this year. Communicate with your colleagues, students, and the SWAA Board via email, Facebook, and all means at your disposal to generate ideas and topics that matter to you. Help us spread the word over the coming year. SWAA and its annual conference belongs to you!