January 23, 2011

Membership Has Its Privileges

Every January, I renew my membership in the Society for American Archaeology and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. I really value these memberships because both come with a stellar publication: SAA has American Antiquity and AAPA has the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The AAPA member site even has free access to all AJPAs ever published. As a student, I could join both organizations for a total of $130. Since I graduated last year, I renewed my SAA membership at $130 and applied for regular membership to the AAPA for $130. In choosing my new category, I noted that both organizations had a "lifetime member" category on the renewal screen. The cost for a lifetime membership in AAPA is $1,600 - which would be worthwhile if you plan to be in the field for more than 12 years. As soon as I get a tenure-track job, I will seriously look into this option, as I'm pretty sure it's tax-deductible. The SAA lifetime membership cost, though, blew me away: $26,000! What the heck? I don't plan to be alive for the next 200 years. Does SAA lifetime membership come with some sort of benefits I'm unaware of? A free trip to the meetings each year? An endowed fellowship? A gaggle of graduate students to do your bidding? $25,000 in cash?


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