CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: AAA ROUNDTABLE Truth, Responsibility, and Mental Health in Anthropology: The Crisis in Graduate Student Mental Health and Beyond

Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Rebecca Lester, co-organizers

Recent studies have identified a growing crisis in graduate student mental health. At the same time, conversations in the field, occurring primarily in outlets such as anthropology blogs (Anthrodendum and The New Ethnographer) and in the Anthropology Twitterverse, are increasingly taking the field of anthropology to task over the field’s failure to address what has been called a toxic culture of “cruelty that masquerades as intellectual rigor” (Beckett 2019). In addition to instances of academic bullying and program policies that perpetuate structures of social, racial, and structural inequalities, many anthropology programs are also failing to adequately prepare their students for potentially traumatic experiences in the field. For this round table discussion, the Anthropology of Mental Health Interest Group (AMHIG) invites an open and frank conversation about the current state of mental health and attitudes towards mental health in anthropology. Our goal is for the conversation to result in a set of best practices and/or contribute to a policy brief on mental health in anthropology to be published as an official AMHIG document. We invite scholars from all career stages to join this conversation, especially those from marginalized communities.

Please send an email with a statement of interest of no more than 250 words to beatriz.reyes-foster@ucf.edu and rjlester@wustl.edu by Friday, February 21st. This roundtable is sponsored by the Anthropology of Mental Health Interest Group, an SMA SIG.