Call for Papers

The 2017 SWAA Conference will be held from Friday, April 28 to Saturday, April 29 at the San Jose Hilton in downtown San Jose. The conference theme is Parameters of the Possible.

In the Twenty-First Century, we are compelled to confront the many ways in which people around the world cope with short-term exigencies and adapt to the enduring features of shifting ecologies and changing power relations. These include environmental crises of disaster, climate change, and resource extraction, as well as violent conflict, enduring legacies of colonialism, and post-colonial forms of political and economic domination. The operations of such forces in the past and present limit our parameters of possibility as people around the world endeavor to make good lives. Culture, it turns out, is not only implicated in living well, but also with suffering and how we cope with, adapt to, or change the uneven distributions of injustice, risk, vulnerability, and harm in the world. We must therefore also consider how the material, embodied, and semiotic patterns of culture alternatively facilitate and constrain our sense of what is possible. From a biological perspective, how are we overcoming moribund assertions of the biological and genetic limits of others’ possibilities in the past and present? How have our theories of the ways in which human bodies have both marked and been marked by specific historical and relational contexts changed over time? In archaeology, what have we learned from examining creative activities of cultural groups adapting to particular material confines? And in linguistic research, how can we better understand and explore the confines of semantic constructs and the ways in which these parameters are imaginatively contested through improvisation, appropriation, and misrecognition in both verbal and nonverbal communication? If we take seriously the notion that we can look outside our own cultural milieus for examples of how to live that might enrich our own approaches to livelihoods, what have we learned by looking outside our own behavioral and interpretive repertoires that might expand our sense of what is possible?

We therefore call on contributors to the 2017 Annual Conference to present papers that consider how it is that culture, politics, economy, and ecology both inhibit and facilitate our sense of possibility as we confront the challenges faced by people around the world in the Twenty-First Century. We welcome students, scholars, and practitioners from all anthropological subfields and allied disciplines to contribute papers and posters that consider the limits and possibilities of cultural practice, semiotics, materiality, embodiment, and relationality, including the ways in which everyday people resist and remake these possibilities. Abstracts for papers and posters will be accepted via submission on this page beginning January 1, 2017, until February 28.

The SWAA Annual Conference welcomes presentations from across the sub-disciplines of anthropology. To propose a paper, poster, film, or organized session, please start by completing advance registration for the conference and indicating that you plan to submit an abstract.

Registration will begin on December 15, 2016

In the registration process, please indicate that you are planning to submit an abstract, and you will be provided with an opportunity to create a username and password to complete this process. After your completed registration has been received, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for submitting your abstract.

Both registration and abstract submission must be completed by the following date:

Deadline: February 28, 2017

Exhibitors and vendors should direct queries about the annual conference to Julie Goodman-Bowling

For questions about abstract submission, contact Hank Delcore, SWAA Conference Program Chair.