Migration TIG

February 1, 2020

Migration and International Dialogue Topical Interest Group:  A 2019 Review and Forward to 2020

Co-Chairs: Judith Freidenberg and Max Stein 

The following happened in 2019:

1.     Proposal development and submission 

Judith Freidenberg worked with SfAA Executive Committee members Neil Hahn and Jennifer Weiss to develop a proposal to assess scholarship produced on the topic of migration at the SfAA meetings held in Portland in 2019 and Albuquerque in 2020. The issue was raised at the 2019 Migration Initiative Board meeting in Portland about the lack of dialogue between annual SfAA meetings, which inhibits the growth and dissemination of knowledge gained in applied im/migration research. It was agreed by the Board that a senior Society member would conduct a thematic analysis of meeting abstracts, identifying key terms to capitalize on knowledge and encourage professional connections, collaborations, and membership. The proposal was submitted to the Immigration Initiative Committee requesting funds in the amount of $1,500 to support the work of Dr. Amy Carattini in carrying out this project. In addition to identifying a critical mass of scholars, this report provides an ongoing forum for the applied social investigation of migration.

2.     Report Submission 

Dr. Carattini’s first report per the Immigration TIG request was shared with SfAA membership thanks to Neil Hahn’s support, and can be found on the SfAA website. In summary, approximately 13 percent (12.57%, 188/1496) of 2019 SfAA meeting abstract submissions included the term im/migration and/or some related variant in their wording. Refugee and Latin American immigration issues were the most prevalent topics, while Mexicoborder(s), and resettlement appeared with slightly less frequency. Abstracts containing variants of the terms ethnicitydisplacementborder, or resettlement—in which the topic of im/migration is implied but not explicit—were identified as possible intersections for future meetings. Immigration policy in the United States, immigrant cultural representation, immigrant health and well-being, and transnational/global connections appeared as the most frequent organizing topics, while geographically, most abstracts focused on U.S. immigration issues as a driving organizing topic at the 2019 SfAA meetings.

Dr. Carattini will deliver a second report following the 2020 SfAA meetings in Albuquerque.

3.     Co-sponsor of a AAA Webinar 

At the request of TIG member Sarah Horton, and in consultation with Don Stull, Chair of the Immigration Initiative, the TIG has worked to co-sponsor a AAA webinar entitled Anthropologist Action Network for Immigrants and Refugees(AANIR). The webinar will take place on October 18, 2020 at 12 noon EST.

4.     Review of abstracts on migration

Max Stein and Judith Freidenberg reviewed all im/migration-related abstracts submitted for the 2020 SfAA Meetings, and grouped volunteered submissions into thematic session.

And forward to 2020!!

Good news!  We now have space in the SFAA Community Network Memberships.  

We invite you to join in at


And please come join us in Albuquerque:

THURSDAY 10:00-11:50 Casa Esencia North Immigration TIG Business Meeting

©Society for Applied Anthropology 

P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 • info@appliedanthro.org