The World Council of Anthropological Associations
A network of national, regional and international associations that aims to promote worldwide communication and cooperation in anthropology.
The World Council of Anthropological Associations, formed in 2004, is an association of associations from around the world. Each association member is represented by a delegate: a president or representative. As of this writing in 2021 there are 54 member associations, representing tens of thousands of anthropologists. The WCAA has meetings every two years, attended by its representatives and delegates, generally taking place at meetings of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. The WCAA also meets at other large meetings of anthropologists around the world several times a year. The WCAA has a Chair and an Organizing Committee, elected every two years from representatives around the world, who discuss the WCAA’s activities at monthly meetings and decide on policy matters of a more urgent sort than can be discussed at the WCAA semi-annual meetings.
The WCAA emerged from conversations about world anthropologies, with the aim of promoting a more diverse exchange among anthropologists globally. There have always been very close connections between world-systems of power and disciplines such as anthropology. There has been an Americentrism and Eurocentrism in the discipline, whereby certain anthropologies are imposed as central and others are seen as alternative or peripheral. The WCAA seeks to raise awareness of this situation, and to promote and champion anthropologies around the world as engaged in a truly global endeavor.
The activities of the WCAA most critically involve task forces on ongoing matters of concern to anthropologists, ranging from anthropological ethics to social media, global cultural policies, and publication. The WCAA also engages in raising issues about anthropological matters to relevant authorities, on matters ranging from the persecution of anthropologists around the world to statements about governmental policies affecting anthropology. It has recently conducted a global survey of anthropological practice to better understand the state of the discipline today in different countries.
The WCAA publishes the yearly journal Déjà Lu, consisting of open-access reprints from anthropological journals around the world; it publishes a blog, En sus propios términos, a forum in which anthropologists from different societies around the world express themselves in their own languages; it publishes a quarterly newsletter portraying the various activities and initiatives of different anthropological associations around the world; and it offers semi-monthly anthropological webinars with anthropological speakers interacting on topics ranging from fieldwork in an era of Covid-19 to racism in anthropology. These productions are readily available on the WCAA website.
WCAA & IUAES
WCAA and IUAES came together in 2016, after a vote from their respective memberships, to form WAU, the World Anthropological Union, with IUAES consisting of individual members from across the globe and WCAA consisting of anthropological associations and their representatives. WCAA and IUAES work together in twice-a-month meetings of the WAU Steering Committee as well as in a range of other activities. With WAU as a single unifying voice for global anthropology, we anticipate a bright future for our discipline around the world.
WCAA Newsletter and Facebook
The World Council of Anthropological Associations has a Newsletter edited by the Secretary Michel Bouchard and co-edited by the Chair, Carmen Rial with the editorial assistance of Julia Sens, a master student in anthropology at the University of Santa Catarina. Please send your contributions to Michel Bouchard (dr.bouchard(at)gmail.com ) with copy to Carmen Rial (rial(at)cfh.ufsc.br).
The WCAA has its own Facebook page. Please have a look, and please consider adding your own contribution. The manager of the WCAA Facebook page is Jermaine Gordon jrmngrdn(at)gmail.com, a graduate student in anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. If there is anything you would like to have posted related to world anthropology, please send it on to him.