The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Whitney Battle-Baptiste is the New President-Elect/Vice President of the American Anthropological Association

Friday, October 22, 2021

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has announced that Whitney Battle-Baptiste has been elected to serve as the organization’s president-elect/vice president for 2021-23. Battle-Baptiste will begin her term as president-elect/vice president at AAA’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore in November and will assume the office of association president at the 2023 Meeting.

Battle-Baptiste, professor of anthropology and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst, is a historical archaeologist of African and Cherokee descent whose work focuses primarily on the intersection of race, class, and gender in the shaping of cultural landscapes across the African diaspora.

Her long history of leadership experience within the Association includes serving on the Committee on Ethics, the Nominations Committee, and the Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group, as well as with the Association of Black Anthropologists, and the Association for Feminist Anthropology.

“I consider myself both a scholar and activist,” Battle-Baptiste said in an announcement from the AAA. “In that regard, I plan on accelerating the pace of change envisioned in the association’s new five-year plan, including taking definitive, actionable steps regarding inclusion, equity, and diversity in our membership and advancing the field through a broad range of career pathways.”

“Whitney has a wonderful history of service to the association and to the discipline,” outgoing AAA President Akhil Gupta added in the announcement. “These experiences will serve her well in her efforts to shape the future of the association.”

As president of the AAA, Battle-Baptiste said she also hopes to use the association’s full convening power to facilitate a larger public role for anthropology.

Founded in 1902 and dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems, the American Anthropological Association, with 7,000 members, is the world’s largest scholarly and professional organization of anthropologists.

A version of this article was originally published by the UMass Amherst News and Media Relations Office.