AEA Plenary Speakers

AEA is privileged to have three internationally-known plenary speakers for Evaluation 2003. Each morning of the conference will start at 8:00 am with a thought-provoking presentation focusing on an aspect of the Presidential Strand theme of "Methodology." During the plenaries, there are no other presentations taking place so that we may all focus on the work of these innovative speakers. At 9:10 each morning, there begins a set of concurrent sessions, one of which will be a follow-up, question-and-answer opportunity with the morning's plenary speakers. 

Plenary Speaker: Don Dillman
Date and Time:
Thursday, November 6, 8:00 am to 9:10 am
Topic: Whither Survey Methodology: The Challenges of Our Changing Times

Dr. Dillman is Regents’ Professor and the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy in the Departments of Sociology and Community and Rural Sociology at Washington State University.  He also serves as Deputy Director for Research and Development in the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC). He is recognized internationally as a major contributor to the development of modern mail, telephone and Internet survey methods. In 1970, he was founding coordinator of the SESRC=s Public Opinion Laboratory (1970-1973), one of the first university-based telephone survey laboratories in the United States. His book, Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method (1978), was the first to provide detailed procedures for conducting surveys by these methods. It was recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a "Citation Classic", and has now been cited in more than 1,750 scientific publications.  In 1991 he was appointed (under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act) as the senior survey methodologist in the Office of the Director, U.S. Bureau of the Census, a position he held until 1995, where he provided leadership for the development of new questionnaire designs and procedures for the 2000 Decennial Census and other government surveys.  This and related work on other federal agency surveys led to his receiving the Roger Herriot Award for innovation in federal statistics in September 2000.

Plenary Speaker: Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Date and Time:
Friday, November 7, 8:00 am to 9:10 am
Topic: Parts Unknown: Ways of a Militant Anthropologist

As a critical medical anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes researched and written extensively on Ireland, Brazil and South Africa. In particular, she is concerned with the violence of everyday life  from an existentialist, feminist, and politically engaged perspective. Her first anthropological study in County Kerry, rural Ireland (to which she returned in 1999) concerned the  social and cultural dimensions of mental illness among bachelor farmers in rural Ireland. Later in Boston she undertook a study of the deinstitutionalization of those with severe mental ill-health. Between 1982-1990 Scheper-Hughes conducted extensive field research  in the  shantytowns of Northeast Brazil on infant mortality, the ‘madness of hunger,’ the medicalization  of social and political trauma, and  the experience of motherhood, deprivation,  and  moral thinking and practice. She has also researched and published on  AIDS, the social body, and sexual citizenship in Cuba and Brazil, and on the role of violence, 'truth”  and reconciliation' during the transition to democracy in South Africa.  Most recently, she has written on subjects ranging from the cultural politics of international adoption,  Munchausen-by-Proxy as a weapon the weak,  to the execution of Brazilian street children, the  global  traffic in  human organs and the use of living unrelated  donors in human transplant surgery as a form of sacrificial  violence.  Scheper-Hughes’ s examination of structural, “ everyday”, and political violence has encouraged her to develop a unique style of critical theory and reflexive ethnography, which has been broadly  applied to medicine, psychiatry,  and to  the practice of anthropology.  In 1999 she founded, with Prof. Lawrence Cohen, Organs Watch, a project created to investigate medical human rights violations in the harvesting, sale, and distribution of human organs and tissues. Scheper-Hughes will talk about her work accessing and working with unique stakeholders in unique contexts.

Plenary Speakers: Michael Quinn Patton, Merrill Chandler, Tracie Costantino, Jennifer Greene, Ernest House, Sharon Rallis, Patricia Rogers, Gretchen Rossman, and Kathrin Walker
Date and Time:
Saturday, November 8, 8:00 am to 9:10 am
Innovation and Emergence in Qualitative Evaluation

Qualitative evaluators are experimenting with new and creative forms of data collection, analysis, and presentation. This session will offer a sampling of what has been emerging, a "wine-tasting" of innovative qualitative varieties. Provocative? Cutting edge? Controversial? Pushing-the-envelope?  Over-the-top?  Mundane?  Ridiculous? You be the judge. Come prepared to be surprised, maybe even entertained, but definitely to think in new ways about qualitative methods and the boundaries of what we call "evaluation." This session is organized and produced by Michael Quinn Patton, author of Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3rd. ed. (2002) and Professor, Union Institute and University.