Conversations in the Lobby 2021

CONVERSATIONS IN THE LOBBYConversations in the Lobby 2021

Conviviality in our Professional Society: What are SALSA’s Ethical Principles and Practices?

SALSA XIII Biennal Conference 2021

Organizers: Laura Graham, Natalia Buitron, Laura Zanotti


What are SALSA’s ethical principles and practices? The SALSA board recently charged an ad hoc committee with developing principles, policies and protocols around issues of professional conduct within SALSA and its spheres of activity. The committee invites SALSA members to join us in a conversation about issues of professional conduct within SALSA and the development of a SALSA-specific policy. We’d like to share the work of the committee to date and engage the broader membership in thinking with us about this important topic. This conversation is part of an effort to raise awareness of the issues and make this process transparent to SALSA members. The SALSA board views this as part of the process of decolonizing anthropology.

In keeping with SALSA’s open and supportive organizational culture, we envision this forum as a safe place for frank and constructive discussion. Our objectives are to raise awareness of ethical issues (including, for example, sexual harassment, bullying, plagiarism and discrimination) to move toward proposing policies, developed in collaboration with the membership, that are specifically tailored to SALSA and appropriate to the size, culture and vision of our society.

The Conversation will begin with a brief presentation of the committee’s findings and work to date, followed by interactive break-out sessions that facilitate focused group-discussion designed to generate SALSA member input. We anticipate providing members with working documents and scenarios to consider as they debate and discuss the following topics:

  • The nature and scope of SALSA’s ethical principles and spheres of activity
  • The pros and cons of “aspirational” vs prescriptive and actionable codes that institute investigative and adjudicating bodies and ombudsperson roles.
  • The desire/need to think conviviality in SALSA spaces (meetings, listserv, website, other shared spaces)
  • The process of reviewing ethical principles and keeping them current (e.g. the creation of a ‘living document’).

For those interested, the committee will make available a working draft of proposed Professional Conduct and Conviviality Principles and some suggestions for optional reading prior to the conversation.


Open Forum with multiple facilitated break-out sessions, followed by reconvening of all for break-out reports and general discussion.

–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2023), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).