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American Anthropology Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC November 29 - December 3, 2017

The American Anthropological Association is the world’s largest association for professional anthropologists, with more than 10,000 members. Based in Washington, D.C., the Association was founded in 1902, and covers all four main fields of anthropology (cultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology). While 75% of our members are employed in higher education or are students of anthropology, about 25% of our members work in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, beyond the academy. 

The AAA Annual Meeting, with more than 6,000 attendees, is the world’s largest gathering of anthropologists. It features scholarly sessions, board meetings, receptions, special events, installations, and networking opportunities.

Bunkering (oil theft) is the prevailing mode of accumulation in the Niger Delta. It accounts for approximately fifteen percent of Nigerian production, although some estimates are as high as twenty-five percent. Conservative estimates of ten percent of Nigerian oil production and refined oil products would amount to several billion U.S. dollars. It is a redistribution of sorts. After decades of oil extraction, the Ijaw (principal ethno-religious group in the region) have gained few benefits from petrol development. Poor systems of education, economic participation, and social-political inclusion translate into beliefs that bunkered oil is Ijaw oil. In the name of resource control and self-determination, pipeline vandalization and running products (lifting and transportation to market) were central features of Ijaw armed struggle against the Nigerian government and the petroleum industry (1997-2010) and continue to today. Bunkering is highly dangerous, technical, and organized. Weapons, munitions, speedboats, communications equipment, training, meals, and camps were procured with bunkering proceeds. Refined and crude petroleum lifting has created a lucrative economy, which sustains small-time traders, engineers, businessmen, the military, oil companies, the government, racketeers, and militias. As such, bunkering constructs altered forms of masculinity, liberation, criminality, and inclusion. I locate some key actions and contestations of the Ijaw exploitation of bunkering, during the armed rebellion, as forms of protest, empowerment, and (de)colonization through the lens of the iconic but disenfranchised Ijaw warrior, in his perpetual battle for social recognition.