Past Standing Committees

CAE Commitees are organized by subject area. Committees work within CAE and other sections to advance research and practice in their area, including proposing and and sponsoring sessions at the AAA Annual Meeting. Each committee holds a business meeting at the Annual Meeting to plan for the next year. Joining a committee is a good way to become involved with CAE, meet other scholars with similar research or teaching interests, and learn how anthropology and education intersect.

Mission Committee

Margaret LeCompte

Kevin Foster
University of Texas at Austin

#1 Ethnography of Schools and Communities

Co-Chair: Jessica Sierk
St. Lawrence University

Co-Chair: Debora Friedmann
McGill University

Committee 1 supports the mission of CAE in promoting social justice for historically marginalized groups and promoting collaborative work among academics and practitioners in local schools and other spaces.

#2 Multilingualism, (Multi)Literacies and Language in Schools and Communities


Co-Chair: Carla McNelly
Iowa State University

Co-Chair: Katie Lazdowski
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In their research in language, literacy and learning, members of Committee 2 are dedicated to examining issues of power, cultural forms, and social processes. Members reject the claim of a single literacy (associated in large measure with “schooled literacy”) but rather recognize multiple literacies. Much of the research of the members analyzes the roles of literacies in the formation of identity, including the analysis of how people in their everyday practice take up/contend with official literacies. Similarly, our members engage in the study of language as situated within the contested spaces of power, across various institutional and community setitngs. A commitment to racial and social justice is an essential part of our research, collaboration, and advocacy.

#3 Anthropology of Post-Secondary Education


Chair: Wesley Shumar
Drexel University

Members of Committee 3 are dedicated to the principle that post-secondary settings and processes are worthy of investigation: theoretically, ethnographically and practically. Post-secondary education references a series of overlapping and interpenetrating such sites and activities. All variations of institutions of higher education across the world are within its purview, including but not limited to community colleges, vocational programs, seminaries, research universities, proprietary colleges, and all of the activities that take place in and around them. Questions of access, equity, knowledge production, social justice, activism, identity formation, organizational culture and structure, pedagogy, participation and citizenship in these spaces are central. As members of CAE are largely participants in these institutions and activities, Committee #3 is a powerful space for both engaged scholarship and reflection on practice.

#4 Culture Learning and Transmission

Co-Chair: Ana Dias
Central Michigan University

Co-Chair: Jacquetta Hill
University of Illinois

Committee 4 focuses on culture learning as well as culture acquisition and culture transmission in and out of school; its interest and effort are not limited to school-age populations, but also include life-long culture learning in various institutional contexts, and in societal settings within and outside the U.S.


#5 African Americans, African Diaspora and Education

Co-Chair: Alysia Childs
Fayetteville State University

Co-Chair: Naomi Reed
University of Texas

The Committee on African Diaspora Education concerns the intersection of race theory and education broadly. Here we,in part, explore African descendant student populations as well as the educational institutions that serve them and the broader racial environment that shapes those institutions and student experiences. We hope that this committee can facilitate critical racial knowledge production that stems from the convergence of education field-sites and theory with anthropological approaches to race studies.


#6 Latin@s and Education

Chair: Patricia Sanchez
University of Texas, San Antonio

This committee focuses on the educational and schooling experiences of children, youths and adults in diverse Latinx communities. It addresses the social, educational, political, and economic inequities that structure students’ and families’ educational experiences and opportunities. We address how Latinx youths and adults produce knowledge, use language and literacy, and draw upon cultural resources across family, community, school and nation-state borders in order to imagine community, challenge injustice, and create change. Our committee encourages interdisciplinary perspectives and topics that may include decoloniality, Latinx, Chicanx and Indigenous studies, feminisms, race, movement and im/migration, bilingual education, citizenship, youth cultures, and social justice movements.

#7 Indigenous Education

Chair: Vanessa Anthony-Stevens
University of Arizona

Co-chair: Sheilah Nicholas
University of Arizona

#8 Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans in Education

Co-Chair: Yi-Jung (Shelley) Wu
Rutgers University

Co-Chair: Maria Chavan
University at Buffalo, the State University of New York

This committee aims to contribute to scholarly collaboration with interdisciplinary researchers, to strengthen the theoretical and methodological aspects of APIAA studies in education, and to work toward a comprehensive understanding of APIAA’s educational experiences. The term “educational experiences” involves academic and non-academic learning within institutional contexts (including family, community, and school), understood through anthropological analysis. The Committee on APIAA in Education was founded to provide a home for scholars who are interested in exploring the complex interplay among the APIAA population, educational institutions, and socio-cultural structures in a changing global context.

#9 Gender and Sexuality in Schools and Society

Katie Elliott
University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Allison Mattheis
California Sate University, Los Angeles

Co-Chair: Katie Elliott
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Examines gender and sexuality and their intersections with other lines of difference in educational contexts. Considering the ways schools and society construct and reflect each other as well as divide and operate as points of tension, the committee looks at research situated across spaces for learning. We pay particular attention to the connections between norms of masculinity, femininity, binary gender, and heteronormativity as well as to the ways sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are linked and produced. We invite collaborators who explore sex, gender, and sexuality as they construct identity, community, relations, bodies, or norms both in and out of school.

#10 International Issues, (Im)migration, Transnationalism and Citizenship in
Educational Contexts

Co-Chair: Wai Chi Chee
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Co-Chair: Cora Ann Jakubiak
Grinnell College

This committee focuses on how global flows across geopolitical and imagined borders may impact educational contexts and experiences. The committee explores the dynamic processes of migration and transnational phenomena that are shaping issues of language, identity, and citizenship in both formal and informal educational settings.

#11 Exceptionalities in Education

Chair: Juliette deWolfe
Teachers College, Columbia

Co-chair: Sylvia Mac
Oklahoma State University

The mission of Committee 11 is to explore and interrogate the topics of interest including but not limited to “exceptionality,” (dis)ability, special education, special needs, “At-risk” students, and “Gift and Talented” students in spaces of formal education, such as schools, informal education (play groups, afterschool activities, families, religious education, education via media), and in home schools and community school settings. We aim to think critically and compassionately about individual and group identities and identifications, labels, categories, stigma, and “othering,” policy development and implementation, programming at global, federal, state, and local levels, professional training, an inclusive and exclusive practices.  We will do this by utilizing methodologies including, but not limited to, storytelling, policy analyses, ethnographic research, memoirs and biographies, network and system analyses, participatory action research, and digital and media-based methodologies.

#12 Privatization, Markets, and (Post-)Neoliberalism in Educational Contexts.

Co-Chair: Amy Brown
University of Pennsylvania

Co-Chair: Rachel Throop
Barnard College

Committee # 12 seeks to provide a space to discuss, problematize, and engage the different manifestations of neoliberalism as a political economic theory, ideology, and discursive practice.  Committee # 12 seeks to advance research and public’s understanding on the privatization of public schooling and the leading role of the market in the redefinition of civil society, the state, and the individual.  Committee # 12 welcomes academic dialogues that explore the complexities of neoliberalism and envision more democratic alternatives.

Committee #13 Anthropology of Environmental and Science Education

Co-Chair: Teresa Lloro-Bidart
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Co-Chair: Joseph Henderson
University of Delaware

The mission of Committee #13 is to promote the use of anthropological and ethnological perspectives, theories, and methods in the study of environmental and science education. Recognizing that scientific and ecological justice issues are intertwined in formal, informal, and community-based educational spaces, the Committee members’ research aims to explore this complexity, developing solutions that account for a broad range of marginalized groups, the more-than-human, diverse forms of scientific inquiry, and ecological integrity.

Committee #14   Ethnography of Educational Policies and Systems 

Co-Chair: Rob Whitman
Bunker Hill Community College

Co-Chair: Rebecca Hodges
Washington University, St. Louis

Research within this committee examines the production, translation, and implementation of educational policy in terms of discourse, power, epistemology, and cultural practice.  We are interested in exploring both policy mechanisms that frame the production of participants in educational systems as well as the spaces for individual and collective agency to negotiate, enact, resist, or redefine policy narratives.  In doing so we seek to understand the lived experience and local understandings of macro-level legislative and governance processes. Our members’ research attends to intersections of theory and practice, contingency and geographic context.

Committee #15  Adult Teaching and Learning Communities, Workplaces and Schools

Co-Chair: Janise Hurtig
University of Illinois, Chicago

Co-Chair: Matt Carlson
University of Minnesota

The broad mission of Committee 15 is to contribute to our cultural understanding of educational processes across the life cycle, and to wider socio-cultural analyses of adult life. We seek to do so by illuminating adults’ educational experiences — as teachers and learners, — as a kind of cultural production that takes place in and across formal, informal, and non-formal settings. We are committed to studying adult education ethnographically as it takes place in a variety of socio-historical contexts, through a multiplicity of relationships, informed by diverse social theoretical frameworks.  In addition, many members employ critical, collaborative and participatory research methodologies, which mark continuities with diverse traditions of  emancipatory education that are based in a political commitment to education as a humanizing, agentive activity