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Executive Committee Statements

Statement Against Sexual Harassment and Assault
By Christopher Marcatili
Posted: 2022-03-15T01:58:15Z


The AAS Executive is issuing this statement of solidarity with anthropologists of all genders, and across all geographies, who are facing or have faced sexual harassment and assault in their places of work. We acknowledge with concern that this occurs in anthropology and is fostered and supported by what happens in the academy at large. We also recognise the bravery of those who have spoken out, and those who have listened and made space for them to be heard. Such violence is experienced by students and anthropologists of all ages, particularly women, LGBTQI+, ethnic minority, and First Nations anthropologists. 

 

The issue of sexual harassment and assault is not limited to sporadic incidents committed by individuals in elite institutions. It occurs across all spaces where anthropologists work. Anthropologists face harassment whether they are working in the academy, in the field, or as consultants. This is enabled by institutional mechanisms and academic cultures of unstable employment, exploitation, hierarchical abuse of power, nepotism in hiring practices, publishing, and silencing. Problematic patronage networks empower high profile anthropologists to weaponise their influence to enact abuse and prevent it from coming to light. By ignoring abuse, maintaining silence, deliberately minimising allegations and not believing victims/survivors, anthropologists support violence and its perpetrators.

 

The AAS Executive recognises the long-term emotional and professional consequences of speaking out against abuse. We also recognise the equally serious consequences of being unable to speak out. We are considering concrete ways that the Society may be able to support victims and survivors of harassment and assault, and support those seeking to hold abusers to account.  

 

We strongly urge universities and institutions to respond proactively to predatory and abusive behaviour within our academic and professional communities. 

 

The AAS Executive acknowledges Dr. Kathleen Openshaw’s contributions in the drafting of this statement.

 

Readings & Resources:

 

Resources

 

Although these are for support in the field, they are useful as part of a wider strategy to address violence across all areas of our workplace.

 

Selected Readings

 

Recent online pieces