CFP: Engaging Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst invites colleagues and collaborators, current students and alumni, faculty past and present, as well as scholars, practitioners, and activists near and far to join us for a four-day conference from October 3rd through October 6th.

At this moment of escalating precarity and deepening inequalities, of resurgent nativisms, social dislocations, and ongoing colonialism-and with climate change threatening life as we know it-we seek to explore how to mobilize anthropological theory and methods to make sense of and respond to these conditions. How might we identify and work toward alternatives?

We seek proposals for academic sessions, papers, workshops, and special events. We have also planned exciting plenaries, community engaged workshops, dinners and events that reflect on the history of the department.

Conference Events and Themes

Our conference theme, Engaging Anthropology, is meant to highlight the importance of ongoing engagements with the many challenges of the day. In line with our department's history and the field's diversity of orientations towards research, teaching, and practice, sessions around our theme of Engaging Anthropology might include any of these areas (though you need not limit your submissions to these areas). 

  • Bio-Cultural Synthesis

  • New Directions in Archaeology and Social Justice

  • Marxism today

  • Engaged Pedagogy

  • Evolutionary Anthropology

  • Critical Heritage Studies

  • Activism and Organizing

  • Medical Anthropology and Global Health

  • Whiteness and Racism

  • Feminist & Queer Theory's impact for Anthropology

  • Indigenous Epistemologies & Methods

  • Anthropology of Europe

  • Political Ecology and Environmental Anthropology


Distinguished Lecturer in the Anthropology of Europe

Lilith Mahmud, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California Irvine
Archaeology of the 21st Century

Jason De León, Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Black Feminism Today

Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amanda Walker Johnson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dana-Ain Davis, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society, Graduate Center, CUNY

Engaging the Present, Envisioning the Future

Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Arturo Escobar, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Stephen Healy, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and member of the Community Economies Collective.

How do we Define "Human"?

Jeremy DeSilva, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth College

Registration and Proposal Submission

You are invited to attend as a general participant. We also seek papers, presentations, events, workshops, posters, and other activities that engage the discipline of anthropology in critical dialogue and mobilize anthropological theory and methods toward transformative practice. Paper and panel abstracts should be submitted via the conference website by June 30, 2019.

 Please contact the conference planning committee at with questions or for additional information. 
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