Tomorrow is the first ever National Anthropology Day.
As explained on the official page of the event, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) decided that February 19th is the perfect day to celebrate ”anthropology and anthropologists across the world through the declaration of National Anthropology Day”.
Why the 19th of February? Alex Golub already addressed the relevance of this date in anthropology in a post published on Savage Minds. Give yourself a treat and read his other posts on the topic, he is pretty excited about tomorrow! (Like a geek the night before a convention).
The date is not what I have doubts about. The word ”national” is what makes the whole idea of this celebration a little bit disappointing for me. I am not from the United States, and this is a national celebration. If the AAA intends tomorrow to be about anthropologists from around the globe, then why not make February the 19th the International Anthropology Day?
I can already hear you saying: ”but MP, it’s just a word, what’s the big deal?”. Well people, if I didn’t have the capacity to obsess over one word and the meanings it conveys, I wouldn’t be a social scientist. So please, bear with me here.
Changing just one word would make this day seems so much more inclusive and inviting. I know, the American Anthropological Association is based out of the United States of America. It may not be the association’s responsibility or even its place to declare an international anthropology day.
Their initiative is great, too! It’s fantastic that the AAA decided to take one day out of the year to focus on improving awareness about our discipline and to celebrate the amazing work anthropologists are accomplishing in various areas. We all know the general public could use more information on anthropology, as my colleagues Emma Backe, Rayna Elizabeth and I discussed in our series Anthropology in Outerspace. So kudos, AAA!
Still, I’d like to be part of the party tomorrow without feeling that I am celebrating a strictly U.S.A. celebration.
So, should I just ask the Canadian Anthropology Society (CAS-SCA) to declare a National Canadian Anthropology Day? Should Canadian anthropologists, and anthropologists everywhere, adopt February 19th as our national anthropology day as well?
It’s worth thinking about. But for now, I think I will indeed celebrate anthropology tomorrow. In fact, I will celebrate french Canadian anthropologists and their amazing contributions to our discipline!
What are your plans? Tell me in the comments below!
Don’t know what to do to celebrate tomorrow? Savage Mind’s Alex Golub suggest you make it minty.
Have a wonderful
National International Anthropology Day!