AAA 2017, CFP: Anthropology Matters in Extension


Call for papers/discussants for the American Anthropological Association 2017 Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Anthropology Matters in Agricultural and Forestry Extension

Throughout the world, agricultural, forestry and fishery Extension efforts constitute some of the major methods by which diverse social actors, such as educational and research institutes, NGOs, governments, development agencies, and bi- and multi-lateral entities interface with local farmers, those communities living in forests, fishing communities, residents, and private as well as collective landowners. What Extension means varies. Nowadays, “Extension” is a poliphonic term that materializes a wide variety of activities and goals (i.e., ideas, practices and experiences), often reflecting different societal contexts. Extension efforts frequently involve exchanges of diverse types of knowledges (i.e., traditional and innovative); the promotion of new technologies, and efforts to modify ideas and practices related to improving agricultural production, fishery practices, and management and protection of land, forest and fishery resources.

Agricultural, forestry, and fishery extension interactions occur at a variety of scales. In some contexts, farmers, fishers, and landowners organize into associations and networks that may represent or advocate for their respective constituencies at local, regional, or national levels. Public and private extension agents frequently play a pivotal role in many of these exchanges, serving as a bridge between different groups of producers, public and private institutions, and/or associations, and networks. Extension activities also frequently engender a high level of interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration between social and natural sciences in the production of new knowledge and policy making.

This panel explores anthropological contributions to the study of interactions between farmers, fishers, private and collective landowners, NGOs, extension agents, natural and social scientists, and public and private institutions researching or engaging in agricultural, forestry and fishery extension efforts. We suggest that similar dilemmas and opportunities that confront anthropologists working within or at the periphery of development paradigms, political economy, and agroecology perspectives, exist within the frame of agricultural, forestry and fishery extension.

This panel highlights that anthropology matters in Extension. Anthropologists have much to contribute when it comes to understanding and advocating for important perspectives in extension efforts. Recent anthropological contributions include bridging understanding between natural and social scientists, as well as between these actors and policy making agents; the promotion of human rights perspectives and the rescuing of traditional forms of knowledge and practice; the promotion of participatory methods that can better understand and therefore better advocate for the needs and concerns of farmers, fishers, residents and private and/or collective landowners; contributions to policy formation related to extension; emerging models connecting fieldwork, educational experiences, research activities, and policy-making; and others.


If you are interested in serving as a discussant or presenting a paper for this AAA panel, please contact Andrew Tarter at: [email protected] by April 2nd.