CfP AAA/CASCA 2023 Panel: Transitions in Police Training


Dear colleagues,

We are looking for submissions for our proposed panel "Transitions in Police Training" (working title) for the 2023 American Anthropological Association/Canadian Anthropology Society annual meeting. We are currently planning for an in-person panel. If you are interested, please submit a maximum 250-word abstract to the panel organizers by March 24. We will notify participants by March 28. (Since we are sending notifications after March 22, the deadline for starting a submission in the portal, participants may want to start their own submission by that date in any case.)

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Christina Aushana (
Jessica Katzenstein (


Panel abstract:

Ethnographies of policing have long focused on the patrol field as the primary site in which to study police epistemes. Anthropologists of police (Barker 1999; Cabot 2018; Jauregui 2013; Salem and Larkins 2021) and interdisciplinary ethnographers of state violence (Alves and Vargas 2017; LeBrón 2019), often using the dominant modality of the police ride-along, have invited us to the streets of Paris where refugees are policed (Fassin 2013), to the back-alley beats of Taiwanese officers (Martin 2019), and elsewhere. Yet, as Tyre Nichols’ highly mediatized death at the hands of five Memphis police officers once again reveals in the long citational chain of anti-Black police violence, what happens in the patrol field is not merely evidence of a unitary “police culture” that can be corrected through diversity efforts, body cameras, or more effective training programs (cf. American University 2021). Focusing the ethnographic gaze solely on sites of “real life,” street-level police work leaves unaddressed the imaginaries of racialized violence in/scripted in training. Scholarship on the possibilities and limits of police reform, both within and outside the U.S. (Akarsu 2020; Babül 2017; Hornberger 2011), suggests the need to transition toward a model of police ethnography that necessarily encompasses sites beyond “the street.”

This panel adjusts the aperture of the anthropological lens to examine how police trainings and paradigms shape the methods, objects, epistemes, and ethics of police, as well as those of the ethnographer. We build on the work of anthropologists like Aisha Beliso-De Jesús (2020) for whom the training worlds of police recruits and instructors cannot be extricated from the settler colonial fantasies and metaphors that render racial imaginaries of violent Black, Brown, and Indigenous neighborhoods shareable, inhabitable, and mobile before recruits enter the patrol field. Such imaginaries are visible today in the ongoing police killings and state abandonment of Indigenous Canadians, the “Cop City” training facility in Atlanta, and anti-Black and anti-immigrant police violence worldwide.

We welcome papers that engage with the following questions:

What do ethnographies of police training allow us to understand that ethnographies of "real-life" policing do not? What forms of racialized and gendered violence do they clarify and obscure? What metaphors, temporalities, and performances of "reality" do they produce?

What conceptual and political distinctions/convergences emerge in comparing (or comparative) studies of police training globally? What do (mis)translations across contexts produce?

How might studies of police training that expand the formalistic category of "police" - by focusing on private security, neighborhood watch groups, etc. - complicate those that focus specifically on state agents? Moreover, what is enabled by broadening our conception of "training"?

How should we parse the politics of anthropologists' engagement in police training, both broadly as a form of "dirty anthropology" (Jauregui 2013) vis-a-vis our imbrication in state violence, and specifically as a space that seems to compel involvement in "improvement"? What does such involvement in ethnography’s “double binds” (Zilberg 2016) open and foreclose?

Lastly, by revealing the tacit, teachable models that mobilize policing’s racial/izing optics, how might “studying up” (Nader 1972) in sites of police training offer the anthropology of policing a route to resist the reformism of minor repairs?

Call for In-Person Oral Presentations

CASCA / AAA Conference, 15-19 November 2023

Toronto, Ontario


CfP : Unsettling the Publics of the Public Good


Organizers: Marianna Reis (University of Toronto) and Abdulla Majeed (University of Toronto)


More than ever, the neoliberal present has been characterized by the proliferation of different stately and quasi-stately iterations of the public good–public integrity commissions, transparency initiatives, participatory projects, Freedom of Information Acts–articulated as an ethos of democratizing practices (Bear and Mathur 2015). In these iterations, it is the management of revelation that comes to interpellate the “public” of the public good (Bratich 2014, 12). Here, the liberal democratic project of the modern nation-state effects its legitimacy by appearing or acting as if it is a government by/for “the people” through promises of transparency and generative participation in decision-making processes—a logic of “good governance” that entangles what Barry Hindess (2005, 252) referred to as a “system of states”: foreign aid, transnational corporations, and (non)governmental institutions.


Yet, the “publicness” of the public good does not necessarily emerge through acts of unveiling. It can also be about the postponement and concealment of knowledge through the management of secrecy (Cody 2011, 44), under the guise of restoring or preserving public order or national interest. In particular, different iterations of the public good, such as transparency, come to also be presented with the package of liberatory “promissory notes of transformation” that characterize imperial formations (Stoler and McGranahan 2006, 24). Whether that be in the illuminations of the colonial civilizing missions, or in more recent encounters in Iraq and Afghanistan dressed in promises of freedom and liberation (Nguyen 2012). Thus, we suggest that claims to the public good need to be read through/against its co-constitutive condition: that of the public threat. For the ethos of the public good to be efficacious, it needs to rest on a national or global crisis, real or imagined, that authorizes it.


Under such conditions of crisis that continually redefine the boundaries of inclusion in the “public”—especially the national public—the public good comes to be contested by communities that find themselves on its margins or outside its hegemonic frame. Alongside the stately public good then emerges a complimentary, competitive, or even insurgent grammar of the public good articulated by citizen-subjects themselves as they come to construct ethico-political subjectivities in their everyday life, mutually recognizing themselves as an “ethical public” (Cohen 2010). Thus, we ask, in what ways does the “public good” come to be called upon by ordinary people, and how does it order future claims of citizenship that might seek to “grid” that future under the State (Jansen 2014), or transcend it as they imagine co-existing (counter)publics? How do these groups harness, navigate, or challenge the norms of legibility and recognition that mediate the registers of claims-making in the public sphere (Paz 2019)?


This panel aims to highlight emergent ethnographic inquiries into the “public” broadly conceptualized, and how its various iterations (i.e. the public good, publicity, the public sphere, and public knowledge, among others) are implicated in the constitution of ethical and political subjectivities. We wish to trouble the taken-for-granted notion of the liberatory “democratizing” potential inherent in many approaches to the public sphere, transparency, and the public good, while making space for the emergence of alternative political projects and aspirations around which ordinary people may articulate their publicity in pragmatic ways. We seek panel participants whose critical work complicates notions of publicity and publics, including, but not limited to:

-Complicity and Compliance
-Pandemics, Ecological Disasters, and National Threats
-Humanitarian and Militaristic Interventions
-Activist Publics and Practices of Citizenship
-The “Good,” the “Ugly,” and the “Public” in the Public Good
-Commoning the Public Good
-Scales of Membership: Sub-national, Supra-national, Religious, and Tribal Publics
-Genres of Address and Emergent Communicative Technologies
-Limits of the Liberal Democratic Project
-Transparency and Accountability Campaigns

If you are interested in presenting a paper on this panel, please submit an abstract (250 words max.) to Marianna Reis ( and Abdulla Majeed ( by March 21st. Registration for the conference is not necessary at this stage.



Bear, Laura and Nayanika Mathur. 2015. “Introduction: Remaking the public good: A new anthropology of bureaucracy.” The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 40: 37-52.

Bratich, Jack Z. 2014. "Adventures in the public secret sphere: Police sovereign networks and communications warfare." Cultural Studies<->Critical Methodologies 14(1): 11-20.

Cody, Francis. 2011. "Publics and politics." Annual Review of Anthropology 40: 37-52.

Cody, Francis. 2009. “Daily Wires and Daily Blossoms: Cultivating Regimes of Circulation in Tamil India’s Newspaper Revolution.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 19 (2): 286–309.

Cohen, Lawrence. 2010. “Ethical Publicility: On Transplant Victims, Wounded Communities and the Moral Demands of Dreaming.” Ethical Life in South Asia. eds. Anand Pandian and Daud Ali, 253-274. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Hindess, Barry. 2005. Citizenship and Empire. In Sovereign bodies: Citizens, migrants, and states in the postcolonial world. Edited by Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat, 241-256. Princeton University Press.

Jansen, Stef. 2014. “Hope for/against the state: gridding in a besieged Sarajevo suburb.” Ethnos, 79(2): 238-260.

Nguyen, Mimi Thi. 2012. The gift of freedom: War, debt, and other refugee passages. Duke University Press.

Paz, Alejandro I. 2019. “Communicating Citizenship.” Annual Review of Anthropology 48 (1): 77-93.

Stoler, Ann. L., and McGranahan, Carole. 2006. “Refiguring imperial terrains.” Ab Imperio, 2006(2): 17-58.

Webb, Martin. 2012. “Activating Citizens, Remaking Brokerage: Transparency Activism, Ethical Scenes, and the Urban Poor in Delhi.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 35 (2): 206–22.

CFP: Participating in Development Encounters

AAA/CASCA annual meeting, November 15-19, Toronto

Organizers: Scott Ross (George Washington University) and Sarah O'Sullivan (University of Toronto)


What does it mean to participate in “development” today? Who “participates” and who “develops”? Since the 1970s, proponents of “participation” in development have insisted that it is a transformative “process of empowerment” for marginalized or impoverished populations. Increasing the level of participation of “local” communities in development interventions will lead to a more robust, self-reliant, and sustainable development. Indeed, one of the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to involve the target populations of development interventions in decision-making at all levels.

However, for as long as “participation” has become the sine qua non of development practice, anthropologists and critical development scholars have been critiquing it. Scholars have demonstrated the ways that participation is more constraining than liberating (Cooke and Kothari 2001); shown how it endures regardless of whether it leads to material change (Green 2010); and explored the different ways “participation” has been deployed across time, forming subjects along the way (Kelty 2019).

Building on ongoing conversations about “participation” in development, this panel explores the encounter between NGOs and aid recipients (or, in development parlance, “beneficiaries”) as a springboard to thinking about the kinds of participation that such an encounter engenders (Beck 2017, Olivier de Sardan 2005). We invite panelists interested in thinking about “participation” in development broadly speaking (including but not limited to humanitarianism, human rights, or peacebuilding interventions) to submit abstracts.

The panel asks: What prior experiences and expectations do aid workers and recipients alike bring to these encounters? What kinds of participation are enabled by such spaces of interaction, and which kinds are constrained or foreclosed by them? What alternative genres and “grammars of participation” (Kelty 2017) are being imagined? As more and more NGO professionals come from the Global South, many working in their own communities and countries (Carruth 2021, Feldman 2018), how has this changed the nature of these aid encounters? Can we think of these encounters as sites of contestation but also creation? And if so, can these encounters challenge development's longstanding racialized hierarchies?

We invite potential panelists to submit a proposal/abstract (max. 200 words) to Scott Ross ( and Sarah O’Sullivan ( by Wednesday, March 22. Conference registration is not necessary at this stage, but will be required prior to the conference.

Thank you!

Scott Ross (George Washington University) and Sarah O’Sullivan (University of Toronto)

Navigating healthcare systems while disabled - 2023 CASCA/AAA panel CfP


We are seeking participants for a panel that explores issues of (in)access to healthcare services for individuals living with disability, neurodivergence, or chronic/long-term illness. How is ableism experienced in healthcare settings by these service users? How do disabled service users contend with clinicians’ beliefs (about “health” and “recovery,” for instance) that often exclude users’ own experiences, self-knowledge, preferred care options, and health outcomes? What can ethnographic approaches contribute to clinical practice or medical/mental healthcare education?


If you are interested in contributing to such a panel (as participant, chair, or discussant), please reach out with a brief expression of interest to Dina Bork as soon as possible. Participant abstracts due (200 words) to Dina by or before March 17. We are open to doing a fully virtual panel.

AAACASCA2023 roundtable CFP:

The Curious Case of NonHumans in Anthropology

In light of exacerbating environmental changes and ongoing anthropological debates on more-than-humans, this roundtable explores the following three main axes/questions. On the first level, when anthropologists conduct research on interspecies relations, what does the presence/absence of nonhumans – as passerby-s, passive subjects, backdrops of action, or lively capital (Haraway 2012; Mikhail 2013; Mitchell 2002) – tell us about the politicized logic through which interspecies relations have sustained colonial power and capital formation? What does the presence/absence of nonhumans reveal about our commitments and the gatekeeping concepts contouring various regions such as "the global South" (Mashkour and Grisoni 2016; Abu-Lughod 1989; Deeb and Winegar 2012; Naguib and Shami 2013)? More broadly, what does this presence/absence suggest about the role of social theory and its incapacity to attend to interactions that question neat distinctions between nature, culture, humans, and nonhumans (Mitchell 2002; Fernando 2022; Taneja 2017)? How can we think with nonhumans to pay scrupulous attention to "the uncanny intimacy of our relationship with the nonhuman" (Ghosh 2016: 33)?

On the second level: How do we tackle nonhuman others in a regionally meaningful and relevant manner? In this light, our discussion departs from the growing subfield of multispecies ethnography and critical animal studies (Govindrajan 2018; Kirksey 2014; Tsing 2013). Recent indigenous, South Asian, and Islamic critiques of this subfield pose two questions relevant to our discussions: What interspecies relations are included in the predominantly secular multispecies discussions (Saha 2021; TallBear 2011; Tlili 2012; Khan 2014; Mustafa 2021; Fernando 2022)? We regard this panel as an invitation to center our varying ethnographic conceptual grammars, texts, and cosmologies in attending to interspecies articulation. Preliminarily, we describe this as a non-romantic and non-exotic engagement with nonhumans, featuring goats, jinns, angels, oysters, God, donkeys, chickens, all of whom co-narrating environmental challenges, gendered caring and killing relations, and nonsecular understandings of life and death.

On a final level, this roundtable addresses the methodological and narratological challenges of interspecies articulation, including invisible and at times unknowable ones. We seek inspiration from genres that have successfully engaged more-than-human reference points, including fiction, children’s fables, and epistles such as Ikhwan al-Safa’s seminal “The Case of Animals versus Man before the King of the Jinn” (Goodman and McGregor 2009), as well as eco-literature such as Michiko Ishimure’s Noh play “Shiranui (2003).” These genres provide tools through which we can embrace our human limitations in narrating our interspecies lifeworlds.

CfP for AAA/CASCA 2023: Bureaucracy in children’s lives

Roundtable: Bureaucracy in children’s lives

Organizer: Cristina Moretti (Simon Fraser University, Canada)


This roundtable will discuss how bureaucracy shapes and participates in children’s lives, and how in turn children understand and negotiate bureaucracy. Anthropologists show that bureaucratic documents and processes are important sites for negotiating social relations and “shape the parameters of human agency (…) in intimate ways” (Billaud and Cowan, 2020: 7; Bear and Mathur, 2015; Hull, 2012). In school and institutional contexts, bureaucracy translates expertise, mobilizes resources, helps define children’s interests, abilities, and goals and shapes adults’ involvement in children’s lives – often in ways that reproduce classifications and inequalities (Boyd et al., 2015; Heiskanen et al., 2018; MacLeod et al., 2017; Rossetti et al. 2020).
Roundtable participants are invited to address one or more of the following questions: How do teachers, advocates, professionals, and caregivers use or contest bureaucracy in their everyday life and work with children? How does bureaucracy shape the places and institutions where children spend much of their time, and how can we investigate this through ethnography? How do children attend to, encounter, and have an impact on bureaucratic practices in different settings? How does age, (dis)ability, gender, class, race, language, and citizenship status affect the ways different children encounter bureaucracy and the bureaucratic practices of the adults in their everyday lives?

Please send a 150-200 word abstract/statement of interest by March 20 to Cristina Moretti at


- Bear, Laura and Mathur, Nayanika. 2015. Remaking the Public Good: A New Anthropology of Bureaucracy, The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 33(1): 18–34.
- Billaud, Julie, and Cowan, Jane 2020. “The Bureaucratization of Utopia,” Social Anthropology, 28(1), 6–16.
- Boyd, Victoria A, Ng, Stella, and Schryer, Catherine. 2015. “Deconstructing Language Practices: Discursive Constructions of Children in Individual Education Plan Resource Documents,” Disability & Society, 30(10): 1537–1553.
- Heiskanen, Noora, Alasuutari, Maarit, and Vehkakoski, Tanja. 2018. “Positioning Children with
Special Educational Needs in Early Childhood Education and Care Documents.” British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39(6): 827–843.
- Hull, Matthew. 2012. “Documents and Bureaucracy,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 41: 251–267.
- MacLeod, Kate, Causton, Julie, Radel, Mary, and Radel, Patrick. 2017. “Rethinking the Individualized Education Plan Process: Voices from the Other Side of the Table,” Disability & Society, 32(3): 381–400.
- Rossetti, Zach, Redash, Amanda, Sauer, Janet, Bui, Oanh, Wen, Yuewu, and Regensburger, Debra 2020. “Access, Accountability, and Advocacy: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families' participation in IEP Meetings,” Exceptionality, 28(4): 243–258.

AAA/CASCA Roundtable Proposal - Practice into Coalitional Praxis: The Transformative Physician

AAA-CASCA 2023 - Toronto

Modality: In-person
Title: Practice into Coalitional Praxis: The Transformative Physician



● Mallika Kodati, UT-San Antonio

● Enrique Iglesias, UT-San Antonio

The production of Euro-American medical knowledge, culture, and practice continues to be contextualized and shaped by the logics and processes of settler-colonialism, racial capitalism, white supremacy, heteronormativity, and Eurocentrism. Physicians, like many professionals, are professionalized further into an evolving medical-colonial cosmology that emphasizes apolitical approaches and decontextualized, individual disease and pathology, obscuring the complex sociocultural, economic, political, and historical processes and systems that shape people. If we are to critically examine and reconfigure the relations of biomedicine(s), bodies, and health, we must consider the intertwined dynamics of power, injustice, inequality, and histories of domination and resistance involved.

Medical anthropologists and sociologists have contributed much to the understanding of physician professionalization, socialization, cultural development, biomedicalization, pedagogy, bureaucracy, clinical practice, and critical studies of science and medicine. Current reforms in medical education and practice are predominantly oriented toward diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts that increasingly embrace neoliberal notions of multiculturalism and identity politics to achieve external legitimacy without addressing the ongoing structural and historical processes that fashion biomedicine(s) and physicians.

We are seeking in-person roundtable participants for the AAA-CASCA meeting in Toronto to discuss how medical professionals, clinically engaged anthropologists, scholars, activists, and community members can move towards a transnational coalitional praxis with a commitment to collective and multidimensional action towards transformative futurities. How can we utilize global decolonial thought, transnational feminisms, and abolitionist action to recognize and combat all forms of oppression across multiple geographies and temporalities? How can physicians and collaborators rupture the confines of the colonial-medical matrix, and work collaboratively to dismantle systems of domination? How can we disarticulate knowledge production and dissemination from within the confines of Euro-American academia and its contribution to the modern/colonial matrix of power and transition towards creating new cosmologies of life? Ultimately, what does modern revolutionary medicine look like and how is it embodied?


If interested in participating in this roundtable discussion, please email Mallika Kodati ( by March 21, 2023. We welcome anthropologists and physicians of all education levels (undergrad, graduate, professional).

Call for Roundtable Participants: Celebrating Harsha Walia's Contributions at AAA-CASCA 2023


Scholar, activist, and organizer Harsha Walia is the winner of the 2022 Conrad M. Arensberg Award, given by the Society for the Anthropology of Work for outstanding contributions to the anthropology of work from inside the discipline and beyond. She is author of Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism (Haymarket 2021), Undoing Border Imperialism (AK Press 2013), as well as numerous journal articles.

Walia's analysis and her organizing show why the abolition of borders and prisons have everything to do with work. She demonstrates why refugee and migrant crises are the outcomes of conquest, capitalist globalization, and climate change. In such conditions, multicultural liberalism plants the seeds of racist nationalism. Her work critically illuminates the connections between state formation, the intensification and externalization of borders, and the economic exploitation of migrant workers past and present.

Walia's writing also challenges ethnographic projects that take the form of "anthropological consumption" of migrant lives and stories, urging us to turn our gaze from groups and subjectivities to the state regulation of difference. SAW sees the promise of dialogue between Walia's focus on structural processes of "state-regulated relations of governance and difference" and anthropologists' diverse engagements with migration and borders. Given anthropology's interest in power, work, and migration, Walia's contributions stand to push us further on questions of unfree labor, criminalization, and the very work of research.

SAW seeks participants from across subfields, communities, and career stages for a roundtable that will engage appreciatively with Walia's contributions to anthropology at the 2023 AAA/CASCA annual meeting in Toronto. Please send a 250-word summary of themes you would plan to discuss as part of the roundtable to by March 20. Invitations to participate will be confirmed no later than March 27.

CFP AAA/CASCA 2023 Meeting Session: Agriculture in/of Transition: Temporalities of Labor within and beyond Capitalism


Organizers: Cameron Butler and Gerardo Rodriguez Solis

Discussant: Amiel Bize


Agriculture is rife with transitions and change: the turn of the seasons, the growth of seed to plant, the adoption of new tools and techniques, the passing of land tenure, the shift in labor practices. Yet those transitions do not necessarily go smoothly or completely. This session focuses on transition in the context of agricultural labor to consider the tensions and frictions (Tsing 2004) that arise as transitions are negotiated, pursued, and resisted. We are interested in papers that explore the possibilities of agricultural labor in (re)producing or contesting ongoing realities of capitalism. We seek to open up a space to explore: through what processes do agricultural practices transition into or out of capitalist modes of production? What values inform shifts in agricultural labor regimes? What does it mean to live within, through, or against agricultural transitions? In particular, this panel aims to wrestle with the temporality of transition: how do transitions extend or compress moments? How do they delay or speed up work and life rhythms? What pasts, presents, and futures are created through transition or the calls for transition? What work does transition do in agricultural spaces?


The current papers included in the session touch on questions of temporality, embodiment, value, race, and household labor. They consider how transition is an embodied practice of attunement to bodily toxicity, how labor regimes based on credit and debt have cascading impacts on household and life stage transitions, and how agribusiness surveillance technologies are deployed to extend corporate control over farmworkers. Together, they sit within the messy incompleteness of transition, to highlight how transition plays out in starts and stops with distinct and often conflicting stakes for those involved.


Finally, while anthropologists are positioned today to think in potentially emancipatory ways about the value of transitions, these papers foreground labor to explore what the framework of “transition” opens up, reveals, obscures, or forecloses in the study of contemporary agrarian life. We invite papers that interrogate the transition of not only agricultural labor but also the labor of agricultural transition. This panel asks: what forms of labor are driving the transition to sustainable agriculture? What are the impacts and implications of those transitions for small-scale farmers or those working in industrial agricultural contexts? What do discourses of transitions to sustainable or ethical practices obscure or leave unchanged? Who is able to make claims of transition, and how do people respond to claims of or calls for transition?


We hope for a broad theoretical conversation and so encourage papers that approach these questions ethnographically through lenses of environmental justice, critical agrarian studies, black radicalism, Marxism, feminist theory, and other critical perspectives. Please submit your title and abstract (250 words max) to Gerardo Rodriguez Solis ( and Cameron Butler ( before March 19th.

AAACASCA2023 panel CFP:

Cycles of Capitalism in Atlantic Canada: Spatio-Temporal Returns and Revenants


Atlantic Canada has experienced an unexpected growth surge between the summer of 2021 and 2022. The population growth is double the national rate in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and employment rates, typically far exceeding the national average, are at a historic low for all four provinces. This moment of expansion is also met with growing pains, including a severe housing and rental crisis, and strains on already overloaded healthcare and education systems (Mills 2022). What feels like the promise of expansion, however, can also be read as part of the larger “boom-and-bust cycle of the resource economy” of Atlantic Canada (Thompson 2012:105; Scott 2010). Capitalism is a wave of creative destruction, constantly on a quest for “new places where production might be cheaper and more ‘efficient’” and “new technologies of production where people and older machines are replaced by newer machines”. Capitalism manages to continuously expand by rendering people and places in zones of deindustrialization “instantaneously outdated”, part of the system of waste that creative destruction engenders (Edensor 2005:315). While this might be understood at a global scale as a mode of constant expansion, for those who remain behind when capital has moved on, they instead experience the cyclical mode of the system; one of contraction and expansion. Capitalism leaves ruins in its wake, material reminders to those who remain that the present is open to the past. But so too is the past “open to the future”, as repeated cycles of migration and dispossession in Atlantic Canada reveal the ways that “traditional labor practices have been bound for a very long time to an emerging neoliberal order” (Thomson 2012: n.p.). In Atlantic Canada, this boom-and-bust cycle of capitalism is layered onto spatial cycles of circular migration, wherein the Eastern provinces serve as a pool of reserve labor for Western expansion. Nicknamed contemporarily “the back-and-forth” or the “21-and-7” by labor migrants, referring to the three weeks on, one week off model of labor (Ferguson 2011:107), this kind of migration cycle is representative of larger scales of absence and return that characterizes Atlantic Canada (Delisle 2013). Displacement and unsettlement have become “part of the place” (King 2013:75) for much of the Maritimes, a kind of rootedness that demands separation, where many “ha[ve] to leave … in order to stay” (Ferguson 2011:113). This panel invites speakers to think about the relationship between these two cycles of capitalism; the spatial cycles of absence and return and the temporal revenance an economic mode of contraction and expansion engenders. What kind of temporalities do these cycles of absence and return create? How do returning pasts come to shape our relationship with place? What do these space-time cycles mean for Atlantic Canada’s futures?

Kassandra Spooner-Lockyer <>



Delisle, Jennifer Bowering
2013 The Newfoundland Disapora: Mapping the Literature of Out-Migration. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Edensor, Tim
2005 Waste Matter-the Debris of Industrial Ruins and the Disordering of the Material World. Journal of Material Culture 10(3). Sage Publications Sage CA: Thousand Oaks, CA: 311–332.

Ferguson, N.
2011 From Coal Pits to Tar Sands: Labour Migration Between an Atlantic Canadian Region and the Athabasca Oil Sands. Just Labour 17/18: 106–118.

King, Sarah
2013 Fishing in Contested Waters: Place & Community in Burnt Church/Esgenoopetitj. University of Toronto Press.

Mills, Don
N.d. DON MILLS: Unprecedented Atlantic Canada Population Growth Causes Unexpected Pressures | SaltWire., accessed March 1, 2023.

Scott, Rebecca R.
2010 Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields. U of Minnesota Press.

Thompson, P.
2012 Extraction, Memorialization, and Public Space in Leo McKay’s Albion Mines. Studies in Canadian Literature/Études En Littérature Canadienne 37(2): 96–116.


AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting

November 15 – 19, 2023

Toronto, Canada


CFP: Interembodiment

Organizer: Dr. Emma Bunkley (University of Colorado Denver)


Interembodiment, defined “as the sharing of embodied experiences across and among biological bodies” (Bunkley 2022), has the potential to shape new discussions around the sociality of health and disease experiences. While originally written about Senegalese mother-daughter dyads experiencing metabolic disorders, interembodiment can be expanded to encompass new ways of thinking about how disease (or health) is shared or transmitted as well as deeply embodied ways of expressing empathy, care, and caregiving. This panel pulls together work on embodiment (biological and cultural) that emphasizes the porosity of care to show how anthropology can contribute to understandings of what the human body is and means in contemporary time.


This panel seeks papers that draw together work from the rich bodies of literature on embodiment and intercorporeality (Csordas 2008, 2011; Husserl 1989; Merleau-Ponty 1962), local biologies (Lock 1993) and situated biologies (Niewöhner and Lock 2018) as well as notions such as para-communicability (Moran-Thomas 2019), and shared biologies (Wentzell 2019, 2021). I invite submissions from all areas of anthropology and am especially interested in developing a panel with a regionally and topically diverse set of papers.


Papers could (but do not have to) address interembodiment from the following perspectives:


Dis/ability and Crip studies
Queer and Trans studies
Human/Environmental overlaps (porosity)
Mental Health
Science and Technology Studies
Aging and childhood studies
Care and caregiving
Interembodiment of joy and/or happiness
Migration, borders, and borderlands

To have your paper considered for this Oral Presentation Session, I need the following:

Paper Title
An abstract of no more than 250 words
Your name, affiliation, and preferred email address

Please send this information to Emma Bunkley at no later than March 10, 2023. I will send decision notifications by March 15, and those who are selected will be expected to register and have created a profile for the AAA conference no later than March 22, 2023.




Bunkley, E.N. 2022. Interembodiment, Inheritance, Intergenerational Health. Medical

Anthropology Quarterly 36(2) 256-271

Csordas, T. J. 2008. Intersubjectivity and Intercorporeality. Subjectivity 22: 110–21.

Csordas, T. J. 2011. Cultural Phenomenology: Embodiment: Agency, Sexual Difference, and

illness. In A Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment, edited by F. E. Mascia-Lees, 137–16. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


Husserl, E. 1989. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological

Philosophy, Second Book. Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution. In Collected Works of Edmund Husserl, vol. 3. translated by R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer Dordrecht, Amsterdam: Springer.

Lock, M. 1993. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America.

Berkeley: University of California Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception, translated by C. Smith. London:

Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Moran-Thomas, A. 2019. What Is Communicable? Unaccounted Injuries and “Catching”

Diabetes in an Illegible Epidemic. Cultural Anthropology 34: 471–01.


Niewöhner, J., and M. Lock. 2018. Situating Local Biologies: Anthropological Perspectives on

Environments/Human Entanglements. BioSocieties 13: 681–97.

Wentzell, E. 2019. Treating “Collective Biologies” through Men’s HPV Research in Mexico.

Medicine Anthropology Theory 6: 49–71.

Wentzell, E. 2021. Collective Biologies: Healing Social Ills through Sexual Health Research

in Mexico. Raleigh: Duke University Press.

Collective solidarity mechanisms and post-productivist politics


Since the turn of the millennium, there has been growing interest in (potential) post-productivist socio-economic systems -- systems that, rather than seeking to achieve maximum productivity and a job for all, try to find a level of productivity that provides an acceptable level of wellbeing and enough free time to enhance people’s autonomy (Goodwin 2001). Post-productivism is seen as a promising answer to climate change caused by unchecked capitalist development, but also as a solution in the face of the fourth industrial revolution that is expected to destroy skilled jobs, and a remedy for both increasing inequality and frenzied work rhythms.


Most commonly, a post-productivist future is imagined to stem from some sort of universal basic income scheme that would be decoupled from work-based forms of entitlement (Ferguson 2015). It turns out that it is challenging to abandon work-based forms of social citizenship and belonging; and this is the case for countries where wage labour was never fully generalized (DuBois 2022) as well as advanced welfare states that have gone the furthest into de-commodifying welfare benefits from work-based forms of entitlement, as they remain attached to the idea that the welfare state would crumble if people did not return to work (McKowen 2022).


In his famous 1990 book, Esping-Andersen identified three families of welfare states that variously drew on two historical mechanisms for social solidarity, i.e., contribution based social insurance and means-tested social assistance schemes. In fact, it turns out there is a myriad of ways in which the two mechanisms can be combined and the specific combination has enormous repercussions on how people define social belonging and deservingness, but also social reproduction, class identity, autonomy, and overall acceptance of the system.


This panel seeks to explore emerging post-productivist moralities in diverse instruments of collective solidarity that cover groups too big to operate through interpersonal acquittance. We invite researchers to explore the contested and emerging moralities of such schemes as prototypical universal basic income programs, conditional cash transfers, but also various social insurance schemes (from unemployment to healthcare and parental leaves) and public services. To tease out emerging and/or constrained post-productivist logics, presenters are invited to explore the following questions:


How is the scheme justified and legitimized, and what makes for a deserving subject? For example, a paid maternity leave can be justified by the income lost due to an interrupted work relationship, by a temporal incapacity to work, by the cost of raising children, by the value of children for the society, or it can simply be seen as a personal well-being project that does not justify societal involvement (Folbre 2008). How are the rationales of entitlement negotiated and contested? Is there a “morality contamination” from one scheme to another or – on the contrary – what keeps some schemes rights-based and others needs-based within the same society? What implications does this have for a transition to a post-productivist society?


How is the specific social solidarity mechanism instituted? Is it protected by the constitution and does it have any real power? What is the relationship between private and public actors in delivering the social solidarity scheme? What role is played by the state, political parties, trade unions and NGOs? How do these schemes structure a sense of collective belonging and individual liberty? Moreover, these collective solidarity mechanisms always hinge on some political community that has its insiders and outsiders, which begs the question: who are systematically excluded?


How is the specific scheme made economically sustainable? Is it funded by contributions from salaried labour, the overall state budget, or a specific tax (if so, of what kind?)? How does the source of financing affect the rationale of the given solidarity mechanism? Is there performative speech about the (un)sustainability of the scheme in the public? What alternative sources of funding are proposed to step in?


If you are interested, please send an abstract by March 16th to or




Panel Title: Gendered and Sexual Violence in Anthropology: Taking Back the Action


Organizers: María C. Manzano Munguía , Marie-Michèle Grenon, Marieka Sax, Tara Joly


Panel Abstract:

In the field of anthropology, the prevalence of sexual and gendered violence is gaining increasing and overdue attention in scholarly discourses (see Anderson and Naidu, 2022: Davids, 2020; List, 2017; Morrison, Ellsberg, and Bott, 2007; Sax et al. 2022). In different world settings, including but not limited to, South Africa, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Canada, the United States, and Mexico, gendered violence and sexual assault is persistent in professional and educational settings - and the reverberations of these violences cause students and professors to not only experience (re)victimization but also non-disclosure practices among survivors (Anderson and Naidu, 2022; List 2017; Sax and Grenon, 2020). Structural and institutional transitions that disrupt this violence will be necessary for the discipline to be relevant in the 21st century.


In her recent book Complaint! (2021), feminist scholar Sara Ahmed follows the institutional lives of complaints related to violence experienced within universities. She contends that tracing what she calls a “complaint biography helps us to think of the life of a complaint in relation to the life of a person or group of people…[it is] not simply what happens to a complaint, a story of how a complaint comes about, where it goes, what it goes, how things end up;...To think of a complaint biography is to recognize that a complaint, being lodged somewhere [or not], starts somewhere else” (20). In her book, Ahmed shows how following the lives and deaths of complaints helps cast light on the reproduction of racial, classist, and gendered structures and violences within academic institutions. Complaints, she argues, are thus a form of feminist pedagogy and collective action that has potential to disrupt these structures of violence.


Following Ahmed’s articulation of complaints as pedagogy and collective action, this panel focuses on complaints and responses to gendered and sexual violence in anthropology. Here we discuss violence in terms of complaints lodged (or not) to focus on immediate, practical actions, rather than purely theoretical discourse. We ask: What are the social lives of complaints in response to gendered and sexual violence in anthropology? What can responses to violence tell us about structures of inequality in the discipline? How do disclosure practices enhance preventive and healing practices? Further, how might responses to violence illuminate the transformations needed to disrupt racial, classist, and gendered structures within the discipline? We invite papers dealing with topics including narratives of navigating institutional complaints processes (or choosing not to); building policies with accountability mechanisms within institutions; and/or other responses to gendered and sexual violence within the discipline of anthropology.


Deadline: Please send abstracts by March 22, 2023 to:;;;



Ahmed, Sara. 2021. Complaint! Durham and London: Duke University Press.


Anderson, B., and C. Naidu. 2022. “Freh meat”: First Year Female Students Negotiating Sexual Violence on Campus Residencies. South African Journal of Higher Education 36 (1), 41‒58.


Davids, Nuraan. 2020. Gender-based violence in South African universities: an institutional challenge. Council on Higher Education: Quality Matters, 10, 1-12.


List, K. 2017. Gender-Based Violence Against Female Students in European University Settings. International Annals of Criminology, 55(2), 172-188. doi:10.1017/cri.2018.1


Morrison, Andrew, Mary Ellsberg, and Sarah Bott. 2007. Addressing Gender-Based Violence: A Critical Review of Interventions, The World Bank Research Observer, 22, (1), 25–51.


Sax, Marieka, and Marie Michèle Grenon. 2020. “2019 Sexual Harassment Survey Report.” CASCA. Survey_Report.pdf.


Sax, Marieka, Marie Michèle Grenon, María Cristina Manzano-Munguía and Tara Joly. 2022. “Sexual Harassment and Violence in the Practice of Anthropology: Creating Safe Conversational Spaces for CASCA Members”. Technical Report in Anthropologica 64 (1), 1-15.

CfP AAA 2023: Critical Geographies of Microbial Infection in the Age of Antimicrobial Resistance


This is a proposed panel for the 2023 American Anthropological Association Meeting in Toronto, Canada – November 15-19, 2023.


Organizer & Chair: Katharina Rynkiewich (Florida Atlantic University)


This panel engages anthropological perspectives on epidemiological transitions and global shifts in antimicrobial resistance. The third epidemiological transition (Barrett and Armelagos 2013) theorizes a shift towards new, emerging, and re-emerging infectious diseases in society. Among those infectious diseases, antibiotic-resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus represent a defining challenge of our time and demonstrate the basic reality of how humans live in a world of microbes (Brown 2011). Microbial infections are on the rise due to rapidly changing environmental conditions, extractive industries and global depletion of resources, mass migration and conditions of war, animal husbandry and industrial production, and the intense medicalization – including increases in antibiotic utilization – of everyday life. The liminal spaces where person, place, and time intersect create spaces where microbes share genetic material amongst themselves, with humans, and with non-human animals. We propose a panel on the anthropological study of critical geographies of microbial infection defined by state boundaries, geographic climates, and importantly, considering any number of microbes.


Please send 250-word abstracts to Katharina Rynkiewich ( by March 22nd, 2023. Those who are selected will be expected to submit/upload their abstract information by March 29th, 2023. Registration for the AAA conference can be completed at a later date, though this will be organized as an in-person panel.

CfP for AAA/CASCA 2023 Enduring Colonialism under Authoritarian Regimes


Dear Colleagues,

I am organizing an in-person panel for the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association/Canadian Anthropology Society (AAA/CASCA) in Toronto, Canada (November 15-19, 2023), and I am writing to solicit a few abstracts for this panel.

The title of the panel is Enduring Colonialism under Authoritarian Regimes. Please find the draft panel proposal pasted below this email and attached as a word doc. Prof Dwaipayan Banerjee of MIT has agreed to be the discussant for the panel. If you have a paper that fits this panel description, please do consider joining our panel!


If you are interested, please send a 250-word abstract to by Sunday 13 March. I will get back to you by Friday the 17 March. Please note that you only need to register for AAA membership and the conference once/if the panel has been accepted by AAA, which will be announced in July 2023.


Thank you for reading!


Very best,


Lau Ting Hui, PhD

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

National University of Singapore



Enduring Colonialism under Authoritarian Regimes


Draft panel abstract

In the contemporary world, democracies are deconsolidating and authoritarianism is rising. At the same time, the world is becoming more multipolar and, as it does so, scholars are recognizing various forms of non-Western and South-South colonialism. In this context, imagining new ways of resisting, protesting, collaborating, and building solidarity has never been more urgent. But colonized subjects living within authoritarian regimes have limited possibility for protest and pay a high cost for dissent. For such subjects, the sheer fact of endurance can form a pragmatic politics of resistance. This panel focuses on the politics of endurance in such colonial contexts within authoritarian regimes. It asks: What is the relationship between colonialism and authoritarianism? How do people endure colonialism under authoritarian regimes? What material, cultural, and psychic resources do people draw on to endure and persist under conditions of erasure? How does endurance haunt colonial and authoritarian realities and imaginations? In what ways might endurance usher in change or itself constitute a mode of transitioning? Conventional understandings of endurance tend to assume that the choice to endure represents complacency or reproduces structures of domination. This panel unpacks the underrecognized potentials of endurance by examining how people create meaning, maintain openings, and imagine new possibilities through small ordinary acts. Endurance is not just giving in but holding out for something different. Examining ethnographically the role of silence, beauty, remembering, and haunting in allowing people to compromise and hope at the same time, this panel investigates the complex interplay between resistance and complicity to open new ways for thinking about politics under colonial oppression.


Call for Panelists for the 2023 AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada (November 15-19, 2023) for the following in-person roundtable discussion:

Emerging From Liminality: Fresh Perspectives from the Next Generation of Activist Anthropologists

The current period of global pandemic, political upheaval, and environmental crises demands new research methodologies that prioritize transparency and community-based research (Wolgemuth & Kokanovic, 2020). In this context, decolonial and anticolonial approaches to anthropology are essential in challenging the traditional anthropological canon, which often perpetuates colonialist and oppressive practices (Anderson, 2016). As graduate student activists and researchers, we seek to create a more just and equitable anthropology grounded in marginalized communities' experiences and voices and committed to social justice and community empowerment.
Our roundtable discussion will explore the possibilities and challenges of activist anthropology in the current period of social, environmental, and political liminality. We aim to create a more just and equitable anthropology that challenges the traditional anthropological canon and centers the voices and needs of marginalized communities. To achieve this, we must also explore new research methodologies that align with our activist goals, including community-based and emancipatory research methodologies (Barnes, 2002; McNiff, 2013). Through dialogue and discussion, we will explore how community-based and emancipatory research methodologies can help us work towards a more just and people-centric practice, while also addressing the impact of the pandemic on our work and the communities we serve. We will also consider the importance of cripping time in research, recognizing that time is not a universal experience and that we must be mindful of the ways in which time can be oppressive to specific communities (Kafer, 2013; Ljuslinder et al., 2020).
Our roundtable will explore the burning questions in activist anthropology today, including how we can promote anti-ableism in higher education and develop interdisciplinary research methodologies that center the voices of marginalized communities (Brown & Leigh, 2020). Drawing on our experiences as graduate students, we will share our visions for challenging the system and mitigating structural violence, drawing on our research and the work of others in the field. By centering marginalized voices and challenging oppressive structures through community-based and emancipatory research methodologies, we can work towards a more just and equitable world, even in times of crisis, transition, and change. Ultimately, our roundtable will provide a platform for graduate students to share their perspectives on the most pressing issues facing activist anthropology today. We believe that by embracing new methodologies and working towards a more transparent and inclusive anthropology, we can challenge the status quo and create a more equitable and just discipline.
We invite all graduate students interested in exploring new research methodologies and envisioning new paths toward justice and equity to join us in this discussion. Please submit a brief expression of interest (including discussion topic) by Monday 3/20 to and - decisions will be sent by Thursday 3/23. Roundtable will be in person.
Discussion topics may include (but are not limited to):
Decolonial & anti-colonial research methodologies
Transparency about the anthropological canon & graduate curriculum
Activist research methodologies
Actively anti-racist research
Anti-ableism in higher education & research using principles of "crip time"
Looking toward collaborative & community-based research
Less authoritative research
Interdisciplinary research methodologies
Queering research spaces
Novel research methodologies

Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby & Yveline Saint Louis - Doctoral Students
Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Anderson, K. (2016). "Anthropology and decoloniality: From methods to ethics." Anthropological Theory, 16(4), 441-454.
Barnes, Colin. (2002)."'Emancipatory disability research': project or process?" Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs: 2-21.
Brown, N., & Leigh, J. (Eds.). (2020). Ableism in Academia: Theorising experiences of disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education. UCL Press.
Kafer, A. (2013). "Time for Disability Studies and a Future for Crips" in Feminist, Crip, Queer. Indiana: 25-46.
Ljuslinder, K., Ellis, K., & Vikström, L. (2020). Cripping Time – Understanding the Life Course through the Lens of Ableism. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 22(1), 35–38. (Ljuslinder, 2020)
McNiff, J. (2013). Emancipatory Research: A Vehicle for Social and Community Change. Routledge.
Wolgemuth, J. R., & Kokanovic, R. (2020). "Anthropology in times of crisis: The role of ethnography and ethnographic sensibilities in the global COVID-19 pandemic." Ethnography, 21(4), 523-529.

As part of the roundtable, panelists will be invited to introduce projects with which they are involved for approximately five minutes before the discussion and questions portion of the roundtable.


Abstracts of participant interest (approximately 150 words) can be emailed to



"Curating Precarities"


This roundtable considers how creative or multimodal spheres of inquiry might act as venues for speculation and attunement enduringly or tenuously tethered to anthropology. Discussions will center around how novel projects might allow for anthropology’s adaptability during transitionary times and the role of the academy in supporting such projects. Panelists will be invited to reflect upon affiliations, methods, and collaborations, and to share projects with which they have been involved. Taking participants’ creative projects as a point of departure, we question whether precarity in the form of such projects might be considered as conditional, extraneous, or prerequisite ingredients to participation in anthropological milieus. Panelists are also encouraged to reflect upon how such projects might act as springboards for early career anthropologists transitioning into spaces within and beyond academe, and within and beyond anthropology.



We look forward to hearing back from you,


Nicole Marchesseau, on behalf of the proposed "Curating Precarities" Roundtable

Medical Harm Beyond the Clinic:
How Iatrogenesis impacts Affect, Belief, and Subjectivity in Cross-cultural Perspective

In Person Panel of the AAAs (Toronto, November 15-19, 2023)
Organizer: Johanna Bard Richlin, Assistant Professor, University of Maine

In recent years, medical anthropologists have focused significant attention on iatrogenesis—Ivan Illich’s term (1982) for acute harm resulting from medical encounters. According to Illich, the physical and psychic injury, illness, and death that results from clinical encounters, and the entire enterprise of for-profit, professionalized, and industrialized medicine, is not incidental. Instead, such harm flows inevitably from a system of “care” that prioritizes profit over patients, and in so doing, perverts industrialized healthcare’s stated mission. As such, institutionalized medicine itself has become a significant source of social suffering (Kleinman 2012; Kleinman, Das, and Lock 1997). Recent work on iatrogenesis considers the frequency with which clinical encounters lead to negligence, demoralization, abuse, and violence throughout the world, and especially for vulnerable and historically marginalized populations, including women, BIPOC communities, LGTBQ+ and gender non-conforming individuals, the disabled, and the elderly (e.g. Varley and Varma 2021; Williamson 2021; Sobo 2021). Large scale studies on medical error substantiate such ethnographic findings, proving iatrogenesis to be a significant driver of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. In the U.S. alone, scholars suggest that medical error constitutes the third-leading cause of death (Makary and Daniel 2016; Anderson and Abrahamson 2017).

While scholars have noted the many “reverberating effects” of iatrogenesis “into patients’ life-worlds and subjectivities beyond the clinic” (Varley and Varma 2021, 143), such work has not yet occurred in sustained cross-cultural perspective. This panel aims to redress this gap in the literature by bringing together ethnographic and theoretical works investigating how iatrogenesis impacts daily experience beyond the clinic, and in doing so, significantly impacts the affects, beliefs, and subjectivities of individuals and communities. Papers may consider how adverse healthcare encounters (including clinical, bureaucratic, systematic etc.) “spillover” into the everyday worlds of research subjects. For instance, how do such encounters shape, or interact with, the various religious, existential, cosmological, and/or political commitments and orientations of diverse actors and communities? This panel promises to illuminate diverse forms of iatrogenesis cross-culturally and to underscore the pervasive and widespread consequences of institutionalized medicine.

Please send abstracts (200 words) to Johanna Bard Richlin ( by March 15, 2023.


Anderson, James G., and Kathleen Abrahamson. 2017. “Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors.” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 234: 13–17.
Illich, Ivan. 1982. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. 0 edition. New York: Pantheon.
Kleinman, Arthur. 2012. “Caregiving as Moral Experience.” The Lancet 380 (9853): 1550–51.
Kleinman, Arthur, Veena Das, and Margaret M. Lock, eds. 1997. Social Suffering. First edition. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Makary, Martin A., and Michael Daniel. 2016. “Medical Error—the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US.” BMJ 353 (May): i2139.
Sobo, Elisa J. 2021. “Cultural Conformity and Cannabis Care in the Wake of Intractable Pediatric Epilepsy.” Anthropology & Medicine 28 (2): 205–22.
Varley, Emma, and Saiba Varma. 2021. “Introduction: Medicine’s Shadowside: Revisiting Clinical Iatrogenesis.” Anthropology & Medicine 28 (2): 141–55.
Williamson, K. Eliza. 2021. “The Iatrogenesis of Obstetric Racism in Brazil: Beyond the Body, beyond the Clinic.” Anthropology & Medicine 28 (2): 172–87.

Call for In-Person Roundtable
CASCA / AAA Conference, 15-19 November 2023

Toronto, Ontario


Organizing Objects Through The Stories We Tell


Organizers: Zabeen Khamisa (University of Waterloo) and Jason Ellsworth (Dalhousie University)


Objects are continuously in transition through creation, circulation, consumption, and/or destruction. Their value and meaning are subject to the shifting perspectives of the social, political, and economic contexts they are enmeshed in. In line with the AAA & CASCA theme of transition we ask participants to consider how objects are being made and unmade in new ways by the humans that organize them.


Join our panel to show-and-tell the ethnographic stories of the objects we encounter in our research. Each speaker will take on their object of choice for only 7 minutes! These short form presentations will be unpacked in a moderated discussion and allow time for the audience to share their own stories.


Please submit a short summary (one to two paragraphs at most) for us to consider. These summaries will not be published and no title is required as this will be submitted as a roundtable session. The final panel description will be modified according to the submissions we receive.


If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send your abstract to Jason Ellsworth at on or before March 17, 2023.


Thank you
Jason (& Zabeen)

Call for In-Person Oral Presentations
American Anthropology Association Society & Canadian Anthropology Society Conference, November 15-19, Toronto, CANADA
Carceral Escapes: Carceralities inherent in escapes from, into and across life transitions

How can we interrogate the carceral in people’s complex lived experiences and escapes into, from and across life transitions?

Scholarly engagement with the carceral conventionally studied penal systems. By contrast, this panel follows Moran et al (2018), who understand the carceral more broadly: as the subjective lived experiences of detriment and harm, including the confiscation or loss of opportunity or potentiality felt by the subject. Carcerality requires an analysis of intent – the agent(s)’ (be it legal, state, family, employer, medical, or otherwise) intentions to cause harm and restrictions. As well, the carceral requires an analysis of spatiality – spaces where the carceral is achieved (the city, country, street, home, institution, detention centre, borders, body, imaginations), and at any scale. It also requires analysis of the diverse (im)material techniques and technologies through which detriment is experienced, contested, and resisted.

The framework of “Carceral Escapes” extends the analytical gaze beyond, foregrounding the ways in which the carceral is embedded in people’s complex lives, to consider what happens when they (attempt to) escape such carcerality. All too often, an apparent ‘escape’ from the carceral can actually involve being subjected to new regimes of carcerality. The concept of “Carceral Escapes” illuminates the carceral seeped into the fabric of escapes – repercussions of the preceding carceral context are carried into the next. “Carceral Escapes” allows us to think through the carceral as it is embedded and experienced in and across temporalities spanning multiple geo-political, institutional, familial, social, economic, medical, and legal spaces and across life transitions.

Submissions are welcome which interrogate the carceral embedded in people’s complex lives, and in their escapes from, into and across life transitions, locally, nationally, and transnationally. What carceral practices, meanings and subjectivities are articulated legally, socially, medically, and economically, institutionally, that people repeatedly live in, escape from, escape into, and escape across? What are the effects of such carceral experiences and escapes on people’s everyday subjectivities and quality of life? What implications can these insights have for our own conceptual understandings, as well as policy and practice.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Naseem at by 11.59pm on 15th March.


Call for In-Person Oral Presentations
CASCA / AAA Conference, 15-19 November 2023
Toronto, Ontario

From Mobility to Transience: New Perspectives on the Transglobal Middle Class

Organizers: Andrew Haxby (The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany) and Jing Jing Liu (MacEwan University, Canada)

Fifteen years ago, slates of journalistic and academic writings marveled at the astronomic rise of the middle class in Africa, Latin America, and especially Asia. Inherently transglobal, mobility marked this new class, ably pursuing flows of capital in the slipstream of neoliberal globalization (Ferreira et al. 2012; Upadhya 2011). Today, between stories of rising authoritarianism, the retrenchment of national protectionism, and ongoing political and economic strife stemming from the COVID pandemic, members of this same middle class are searching for new homes, accepting decades of drifting, family separation, and varying intensities of de facto exile (Beck and Nyíri 2022; Scott 2019; Sancho 2017; Ebel and Ilyushina 2023; Xiang, Narotzky, and Lan 2022). Such stories not only contrast aggregate data proclaiming the continued rise of the global middle class (Kharas 2017; Tanzi 2021); they also reframe their once-hallowed mobility as endless transience.

What to make of this shift?

Narratives on the fragility of the global middle class are hardly new. On the one hand, a robust middle class is perceived as a stabilizing force to firmly anchor developing countries within global capitalism, the primary evidence of successful economic development and the foundation of mass consumption upon which the world economy is built (Reich 2016; Uner and Gungordu 2016; Wacquant 2019). On the other, the middle class is often discussed as newly emergent but always already on the verge of collapse (Peterson 1995; Pressman 2007; Fukuyama 2012; Weiss 2019). For those pursuing a middle-class lifestyle, this contradiction is part of one’s lived experience (Jeffrey 2010; Liechty 2003; Zhang 2012). Vacillating between a comforting sense of advancement and terrifying moments of regress, many middle-class aspirants seem perpetually caught in a “not yet” temporality, where self-determination is both promised and withheld. Suspended between precarity and immanence—both adjacent to financial ruin and tantalizingly close to a life of stable, modern affluence —being middle class is marbled with existential anxiety.

This suspension between precarity and immanence has long been central to the lives of the middle class, especially those in the global south. What might be new is the accompanying sense of transience. Transience, barely perceptible in public discourse at the turn of the 20th century, has since skyrocketed as a normative state of being (Yang & Wang 2022; Zuluaga 2015). Here we define transience as the incapacity to settle, or the inability to create a stable home that meets one’s standards of residence. While transience has often been used to describe the lives of more disempowered classes of people, we contend that it provides a useful lens for analyzing middle class-ness in the global south, for two reasons. First, discussions of middle-class people have too often over-emphasized their control over their own mobility. Indeed, part of the promise of the middle-class lifestyle is the power of geographic self-determination, that is, the ability to mold one’s mobility into a lifestyle of one’s choosing. In tempo with a “not yet” temporality, self-determination is a promise that often remains unfulfilled and beholden to the headwinds of geopolitical favor (Liu 2023). Secondly, as the world pivots toward deglobalization, “slobalization,” and the possibility of a new cold war, the promise of geographic self-determination also recedes.

Or does it? Do middle class aspirants believe they can still gain control of their transglobal movements? How do new social imaginaries confront frontier geographies to make new places where middle-classness can be attainable or safeguarded? How has global middle class identity changed as emergent political barriers erode previous forms of global cosmopolitan into its threadbare aftermath? Is this once-heralded class itself a transitional category, the product of a moment in world history that is now ending?

We invite interested scholars to submit a 300-word abstract on transience, mobility, and the global middle class. We encourage participation both from those who agree with the narrative presented above and those who may not agree but can place themselves in a productive dialogue with it. Our approach to the middle class is neither monolithic nor Western-centric. Rather, we understand the middle class as an overlaying of social imaginaries, political realities and material practices that circulate unpredictably through Western and non-Western societies. That said, we leave the concept of “middle class” purposefully undefined to focus on the affective experience of those aspiring towards this lifestyle.

The Discussant for this panel will be Mark Liechty, a cultural anthropologist with a joint appointment in Anthropology and History at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). He is a South Asianist whose research focuses on Nepali history and society. His research and teaching interests include class theory and social organization, mass media, consumer culture, cultural history, social and cultural theory, tourism, youth culture, globalization, “development,” and South Asian history. Major publications include: Suitably Modern: Making Middle Class Culture in a New Consumer Society (Princeton University Press, 2003), Out Here in Kathmandu: Modernity on the Global Periphery (Kathmandu: Martin Chautari Press, 2010), ), The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing Through Ethnography (edited with Rachel Heiman and Karla Freeman, Santa Fe: SAR Press, 2012), and Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017).

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send your abstract to Drew Haxby at on or before March 16, 2023.

Roundtable at AAA2023: To be or not to be: Maintaining anthropological identity and identifying as an anthropologist in a clinical education setting

Anthropologists employed in medical, nursing, and other health professional schools often assimilate to the culture of biomedicine taking on the role expected of them, while feeling caught between differing worldviews, and even experiencing identity loss. As early as 1968, Weaver noted the predominant "utilitarian case study approach" of medical education and research, focusing on specific individuals or diseases, results in "philosophical isolation" of anthropologists (Weaver 1968: 6). The isolation is also from one's own field of anthropology since anthropologists who practice in the health professions are often viewed by fellow anthropologists as losing the critical perspective central to medical anthropology and as being "co-opted" by biomedicine. However, critical medical anthropology has had an impact on our reputation in biomedicine creating resistance and skepticism about anthropologist's motives (Johnson 1991:,127). Anthropologists often find themselves "hiding" their anthropological identities in order to integrate into roles in medical education, which ironically is perhaps one of the key facilitators to being more effective in these contexts (Crowder 2021)

To be effective in medical education, anthropologists must be trained to purposefully deconstruct their own positions, theoretical foundations, and professional institutional structures in order to facilitate their career success in medical schools. While anthropologists may be tempted to operate in "stealth" mode, hiding their identification as an anthropologist, by doing so do we miss the opportunity to have others understand the importance of the specific contributions of anthropology as a field compared to other disciplines?

We are seeking roundtable participants for the AAA meeting in Toronto to discuss the pros and cons of identifying explicitly as anthropologists among health professions colleagues and students. How do we do so successfully? Also, what are the pros and cons of being explicit about anthropological content in health educational contexts? If and when is it necessary? Does it facilitate learning? What does it mean for the profession of anthropology more broadly? What is the impact on our own self-identify, isolation and career success?

If you are interested in participating in such a roundtable discussion or have similar ideas for a panel for the AAA meetings in Toronto, please post in this thread or reach out to Iveris at with the subject header "AAA Roundtable on Identity."

Racialization in Health Care for AAA2023 – Call for Participants

The present global uncertainty of ecological and political turmoil has foregrounded questions of inclusion, equity, and justice in the areas of access to health services and the uneven distribution of disease and determinants of health. Through recent climate crisis and pandemics, race has proven to be a central factor influencing how health care resources are made available. The imbrication of care and the politics of race in clinical spaces has long been a focus of critical medical anthropology. Building upon this antecedent, an important area for disciplinary reflexivity is to consider how ethnographic methods can be harnessed within clinical spaces by shaping medical education and practice. Building upon a long history of articulating a sharply critical stance towards biomedicine, how might the discipline of anthropology transition towards a site of advocacy within and alongside clinical practice?

We are seeking panel participants for the AAA meeting in Toronto with papers that address race, racism and/or processes of racialization in health care with an emphasis on how ethnographic insights can be translated into clinical spaces as a site of social action.

We welcome researchers from diverse disciplines to join the conversation on illuminating and addressing how processes of racialization affect both patients and/or care providers, socio-cultural profiling of patients or populations, as well as how race factors in health outcomes and health equity. Additionally, what kinds of policies, interventions, or hospital-community partnerships have successfully addressed racism as a cause of health disparity? Have there been unintended consequences of recent interventions in health care delivery and/or education and how might these be addressed? How might anthropologists position themselves as allies and intermediaries between patients, racialized publics, care providers, policy and health care institutions?

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please send your abstract to Megan Muller at on or before March 17, 2023.

Medical Anthropology in Biomedicine, Public Health, and Policy: Strategies for Funding and Collaborating in Mixed Methods Research


ROUNDTABLE PROPOSAL for the 2023 AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting in Toronto November, 15-19

Organized by: Research in U.S. Health and Health Care (RUSH), a Special Interest Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology




Medical anthropologists in the United States increasingly work outside of traditional anthropology departments and alongside researchers and practitioners in other fields. Public health departments, medical schools, nursing programs, government agencies, technology companies and a wide array of nonprofits all serve as professional homes to anthropologists. Medical anthropologists also collaborate on research teams with clinicians of all kinds, policy experts, economists, bench scientists, and community advocates. There are many different ways for anthropologists in these settings to seek out funding, support, and collaborations that make research possible. Even though so much of what we actually do in contemporary research is team based and collaborative, our disciplinary traditions emphasize training individual ethnographers to work alone. This roundtable brings together a diverse mix of medical anthropologists who are doing anthropology on interdisciplinary teams and often with funding sources outside of those traditionally earmarked for anthropologists. Participants will identify and share strategies for forging collaborations, accessing funding, and navigating some of the epistemological challenges of working across disciplinary differences.


As a roundtable discussion sponsored by Research in U.S. Health and Health Care (RUSH), a Special Interest Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology, this session will invite participants to consider their roles in reinforcing and transforming health care systems, institutions, and intellectual landscapes. Participants will consider the following questions, among others: What are tips to look for when fielding requests to join a team or when trying to create an interdisciplinary team? Are there certain kinds of collaborations or research that you actively seek out or avoid? What areas of research are particularly urgent or in need of anthropological perspective within US health care? How can we make anthropological questions and methods legible and fundable to those in other fields? How do we deal with biases against qualitative research on our teams and with grant reviewers (i.e. that anthropological research is not generalizable, just anecdotal, is primarily good for suggesting future research using quantitative methods, etc.), and communicate the benefit of ethnographic approaches to interdisciplinary research? What does it mean to be the “qualitative person” on the team? What funding programs and grant mechanisms are particularly open to medical anthropology research?


Interested in joining the roundtable? Email Jessica Mulligan at by March 15.


CFP: Rural Modernities, Rural Moralities: The Gendered Politics of Social Transitions


CFP for our 2023 CASCA-AAA Annual Meeting panel that invites papers on the gendered politics of social transitions in rural spaces.


If you are interested, please send your abstract (250 words) to Britta Ingebretson ( and Yeon-ju Bae ( by March 1, 2023. Our panel will be in person.


Rural Modernities, Rural Moralities: The Gendered Politics of Social Transitions


The rural has often been framed as the traditional foil to urban modernity, often in morally charged gendered ways (Lai 2016; Jacka 2006). For instance, the rural has been imagined as a site of traditional gender norms (Murphy 2010) or itself gendered as a feminine or masculine space. Likewise, across different societies the rural may be held up as a paragon of traditional moral values (Hill 1998) or as a site of immoral backwardness. In attending to gendered differentiation across time and space, as in the cases of rural women migrants' struggles and changes in cities (Gaetano 2009; Zhang 2014), many studies have emphasized the rupture between the urban/rural dyad along these gendered moral lines. However, such emphasis on rupture in scholarship may preclude close examination of social transitions in rural spaces (cf. Robbins 2001) and implicitly reinforce the idea that the rural must be defined in opposition to the urban. In a sense, the rural has been treated as a static anchor that gives rise to ever-changing fluctuating urbanity. Yet, as scholars of the rural have increasingly shown, rurality in both imagination and reality is itself a constitutive site of the modern and a productive arena of its own gender politics and moral negotiations (Bluemel & McCluskey 2020; Casey 2009; Chio 2017; Choi 2020). This panel invites papers that investigate the intersection of modernity, morality, and
gender in rural spaces, particularly those that explore the gendered politics of rural modernity in its own terms.

AAACASCA2023 panel CFP - Animality, Indigeneity, and Indigenous Resurgence in the Shadows of China and Japan


What is an animal? What is a human? These perennial questions are increasingly important as anthropology’s “ontological turn” meets the challenges of decolonizing and indigenizing the discipline. So far, most of the debates have been based on ethnographic research done in the Americas, implicitly or explicitly contrasting Indigenous worlding practices with the “naturalist” modern West. Yet, as China and Japan emerged as expansionist powers from the rule of the Kangxi Qing Emperor to the end of World War II, these two often competing states also seized control of territories and placed populations under their administration. In the post-war state system, these peoples are now Indigenous peoples, national minorities, and aspiring nation-states who seek to affirm sovereignty or cultural autonomy in their own ways.


We are looking for ethnographic studies of these peoples in the 21st century, from the inland territories of the Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongols to the insular lands of the Ainu and the Indigenous peoples of Taiwan. We would like to bring these studies into dialogue with each other, but also with ethnographic studies of the dominant groups in China, Japan, Taiwan, and adjacent states where recent ethnographic treatments are emerging on topics such as more-than-human Daoist and Buddhist human ecologies and ways of living and knowing. This session intends to ask, how are animals, humans, and human-animal relations brought into being through their specific worlding practices? How do the proponents of Indigenous or other forms of cultural and political resurgence incorporate animals and human-animal relations into their projects?


We are proposing an in-person panel in Toronto with four to six presenters. We invite potential presenters to submit a short expression of interest, title, and an abstract of maximum 250 words to Scott Simon ( and Brendan Galipeau ( by Friday, March 10. Membership or conference registration is not required at time of submission. However, all participants must have (or make) profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database) in order to be listed on submissions. Decisions about acceptance will be emailed no later than March 17.

CASCA/AAA ‘Transitions’ Conference (November 15-19, 2023, Toronto, Canada)

Submission Deadlines

Internal deadline: March 19 ; External deadline: March 22

In Person Session (Panel or Symposium)


Orgy of Destruction! Green Wars and the Profitable Paradox of ‘Human: World Destroyer/Saviour’


Humanity is waging “war on nature” in an “orgy of destruction,” and thus “becoming a weapon of mass extinction.” This allegation, uttered by UN SG Guterres in 2022 at the UNCBD COP 15 in Montréal, does not only hearken the U.S. Bush administration’s invocation of intelligence on “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, disinformation that justified a U.S. military invasion, coup and occupation in Iraq. It also amplifies a chorus growing within the global nature conservation apparatus: ‘biodiversity loss is a security threat that should be addressed using tools of the (trans)national military-security apparatus.’ Proponents of this approach justify its violence (direct application or threat thereof) on the basis not only of the gravity of an array of threats posed by environmental apocalypse, but also of some actors (namely ‘poachers’ and ‘illegal wildlife traders’) purportedly harming nature for profit being allegedly involved or implicated in drug/human/arms trafficking, terrorism and/or insurgency.

In a process which Lunstrum (2014) calls “green militarization,” conservation endeavours incorporate military and intelligence equipment and tactics (lethal and non-lethal), in some cases through direct partnerships with domestic and/or foreign defence contractors and/or militaries. In tandem with the deployment of martial rhetoric in conservationist circles and media, green militarization is intensifying and transitioning to the point that the industry of focused and systemic violence has expanded into the market of “green capitalism” (Sullivan 2009), a setting which Büscher and Fletcher (2018) describe as “green wars.” Green wars marshal both hard tactics (e.g. kinetic violence) and soft ones (e.g. counter-insurgency ‘hearts and minds’ community development and subversion campaigns, slow violence, etc.). As some green war fronts target ‘threat finance,’ we may speculate that conservation finance is coalescing to some degree with defence and intelligence finance. Judging by the growing, conflictual and often siloed concerns with climate change, on one hand, and with climate change policies (e.g. legislated farm closures or downscaling), on the other, green wars are likely to continue intensifying and, perhaps, expanding into new domains and markets.

“Orgy of Destruction!” welcomes contributions that account for subtleties and/or sore thumbs of green wars at any scale(s). Contributors are encouraged to describe and conceptualize any benefits or harms (of the transition toward greater green militarization) for humans and for the ecosystems we want to protect, as well as the economic gains and losses green militarization enables, the (geo)political landscapes this fosters and by which it is fostered, and the roles of ideology, morality, spectacle, finance and other vectors of power in the valuation of beings, practices and narratives as worthy of either ‘protected’ or ‘enemy’ status. Contributors are welcome to situate green militarization within biosecurity more broadly, and in relation to states of exception, neo-imperialism, and psycho-colonization, which are themselves intensifying in a manifold, crisis-based transition helmed by post-COVID intensification of post-9/11 securitization of everyday life, and marked by war in and around Ukraine that risks nuclear annihilation while forging what many (political officials party to the belligerence, sober pol-mil analysts, and ‘so-called’ conspiracy theorists alike) call a “new world order,” the outlines of which have yet to be determined. Ultimately, contributors are invited to grapple with the existential, (geo)political-economic and ecological implications of heralding humanity as both world destroyer and saviour in an epoch of fetishized and capitalized chaos.

Submission Process


The deadline for submitting session proposals is March 22. According to the AAA’s general call for participation in the conference, individual abstracts (250 word maximum, 50 word minimum) are required from each presenter. The session organizer must upload the final version of the abstracts to the submission portal.

According to the submission guide, “a profile [must be] created [by every participant] on AAA’s Community Hub website. They do not need to purchase membership, nor register for the meeting at this time. They simply need to have a profile.” The conference theme is “transitions,” and its scope is quite broad. For your interest, here is a link to the conference theme webpage. Here is a link to the “Oral Presentation Session” sub-section of the “Presentation Options for Groups of Two or More” section within the general call for participation.


Please convey your intent to submit a proposal as soon as possible, as well as a title and abstract for your proposed presentation by March 19, to Nicolas Rasiulis (McGill University) at the following email address:


Büscher, Bram, and Fletcher, Robert. 2018. “Under Pressure: Conceptualising Political Ecologies of Green Wars.” Conservation and Society AOP: 1–9. DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_18_1.

Lunstrum, Elizabeth. 2014. “Green Militarization: Anti-Poaching Efforts and the Spatial Contours of Kruger National Park.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104(4): 816–832. DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2014.912545.

Sullivan, S. 2009. “Green Capitalism, and the Cultural Poverty of Constructing Nature as Service Provider.” Radical Anthropology 3: 18–27.

AAACASCA2023 panel Call for Papers - Anthropology of therapeutic cultures

The ideologies, precepts, and practices of therapy culture are increasingly blending into the common sense of contemporary societies and institutions the world over. By therapeutic culture, we mean the primacy of the psychological and the emotional realms in modern ways of choosing courses of action, interpreting what self and others do, and making sense of why the world looks the way it does. In this panel, we seek critical interventions and ethnographic/qualitative analysis of the place of therapy culture in any social or cultural setting, practice, institution, or set of ideals. We are interested in how therapeutic precepts (which include but are not limited to open communication, self-knowledge, self-improvement, authenticity, emotional expression, ‘self-care,’ and ‘healthy’ rather than ‘toxic’ relationships), find expression, get contested, reworked, or encounter friction in concrete social worlds. What do therapeutic cultures make possible, and what courses of action do they rule out? How do ordinary people navigate the imperatives of therapeutic precepts directed at producing greater wellbeing, success, or life satisfaction? What do they value about therapeutic culture, and what do they reject? How does therapeutic culture intersect with other, non-therapeutic cultural repertoires, and with what implications? Ultimately, what does it mean that a therapeutic attitude increasingly shapes how people envision good and bad relationships, lives, and societies?

Please send paper abstracts (max 250 words) to Laura Eramian ( and Peter Mallory ( by March 20, 2023.

Global Matricultures Research Network


Call for Round Table Participants

CASCA / AAA Conference, 15-19 November 2023
Toronto, Ontario

Round Table title: Changing Women: women, matrilineal societies, and liminality
Modality: In person
Chairs: Marie-Françoie Guédon (Canada)


Deadline for Submission: 17 March 20223


Where is power? In bridging, in transitions, in liminality? Liminality is a source of power as well as a source of danger, and therefore, the state of liminality may be either protected or guarded against. In Judaism, when you come to a door, the door is protected by a prayer and you step over the threshold quickly, entering or exiting as expeditiously as possible. In Japanese houses, as you approach the house, the space before the door is left empty. When you go through the door, you are physically stopped from proceeding (with a vase or flowers); it is a mark of respect to provide that stoppage, because in that space where you are neither in nor out, you can be yourself. Changing Women: women and liminality seeks to explore the concept of transition by focusing on the consequences of liminality.

If women are liminal, we are dangerous – and we are powerful; which perspective predominates depends on our cultural worldview. This may be Mary Douglas 101, but the questions which arise remain pertinent and concepts of space as an organizing metaphor are helpful for addressing them. What happens to liminality when it is women who are ‘normal’ or the ‘in-group’, and men are liminal? When women are ‘human’ and men are the dangerous ones? One answer was provided by Ruth Landis, who explored the concept of liminality among the Anishnaabeg: she came to understand that, while women often found solid identities among their motherlines, it was men who generally were required to build their social identity – and the challenges in achieving full masculinity may have fostered two-spirit identities. Among many Athapaskan language group speakers, there are not beginning and endings to ceremonies; people drift in and drift away, without the sharp delineations of time beloved by Westerners.

There are many ways of talking about transition – moving from one state to another - but one way in which we are limited is by the Indo-European definition of space and its delimitations: we are either In or Out. What other ways may there be of understanding the necessary liminality of transition? Where are the cultures where the regular changes which women experience are normative? Are there linguistic or cognitive approaches to space which normalize the passage through liminality, thereby easily permitting other transitions? How is liminality conceived and managed in different matricultural systems? There are many moments of liminality as we process through life, from those as simple as entering or exiting a doorway to rich rites of passage and the ultimate liminality we face at death’s door. Changing Women: women, matrilineal societies, and liminality seeks to find other ways of looking at the concept of transition, which, as western scholars, we may take for granted.

For further information about the conference, here is the AAA/CASCA 2023 webpage (; note that some pages of the website are currently under construction.

Please note: AAA/CASCA membership or conference registration is not required at time of submission. However, all participants must have or create profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database: in order to be listed on submissions. All individuals accepted onto the program will be required to become a member of either CASCA or AAA (or secure a waiver) and pay registration by Friday, September 8 by 11:59 PM Eastern.

To submit a proposal: To join this virtual Round Table, forward an expression of interest and an abstract of 50 - 250 words to coordinator Marie-Françoise Guédon at Submission of the session as a whole will be made by the coordinators (there is no need for individual submissions).

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 17 March 2023


About the Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet)
The Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet) is a project of the International Network for Training, Education, and Research in Culture (Network on Culture) and, specifially, is an international network for research based on Marie-Françoise Guédon’s concept of matriculture. That is, as a cultural system in the classical Geertzian sense within which the experiences and expressions of women are primary.

Similar to other cultural systems such as art, religion, or mathematics, employing the heuristic of matriculture allows for, among other things: cross-cultural comparisons; fresh insights into the social roles of women, men, children, and the entire community of humans, animals, and the environment; or renewed understandings of historically mis-labelled cultures. With Guédon’s work in mind, then, and based on Geertzian principles, the concept of matriculture is both a model of reality by rendering the structure of matricultures apprehensible and a model for reality, where psychological relationships are organized under its guidance. MatNet encourages and supports research which explores, evaluates, re-evaluates, and interprets global cultures from this perspective.

For more information about MatNet, visit our webpage at

Global Matricultures Research Network


Call for Oral Presentations
CASCA / AAA Joint Conference, 15 – 19 November 2023
Toronto, Canada

Session title: Transitions in Matrilineal and Matricultural Systems: exploring changes in women’s power
Modality: In-person
Chair: Linnéa Rowlatt (Network on Culture)


Deadline for Submission: Friday, 17 March 2023


Transitions in Matrilineal and Matricultural Systems: exploring changes in women’s power looks at transitions in the cultural systems which empower women, also known as matricultures. That is, we seek to examine the changing situations, dynamics, and possibilities in matricultural systems, from the communities who are strengthening or losing their matriculture to matricultural communities who are re-opening themselves to reclamations and re-definitions of gender, territory, and language. For instance, while Indigenous communities in Canada are reclaiming historically-accurate concepts of matriarchal power and what these mean for decolonizing their society, scholars in Nigeria are revealing a history of Ibo women’s rites of passage which were lost during Christianization. Mosuo women face profound colonial challenges from the federal government of China, sadly eroding their matriculture. Where a strong matriculture marks openness to a variety of sexualities, the tradition of two-spirit people is returning to a vibrant cultural presence, and some linguistic communities are examining their language for indicators of precolonial matricultural social structures.

We seek presentations which explore changes in matricultural systems around the world. Their increasing vibrancy or repression may be expressed through, among other things, more varieties or stricter limitations on social roles available for women, multiplying personal or sexual identities condoned or condemned, and newly-accepted or newly-forbidden definitions of womanhood. Some cultures even deny women the possibility of growth as a cultured human, while others place women at the core of cultural development (sometimes in partnership with men, sometimes alone). In these latter societies, women are culturally-accepted holders of power – whether social or cultural, or both - and the society can be understood as having a flourishing matriculture. We are looking for submissions which explore transitions in the experiences and/or expressions of women’s cultural systems: in other words, woman-centric cultural systems which are in transition today.

Topics may include and are not limited to the following:
• political gains by women in matrilineal kinship systems
• links between the role of women in matrilineal societies and women’s political authority
• urban transformations in women’s household authority
• strategies used by women in a strictly patriarchal society to find their humanity and, therefore, construct the rudiments of matriculture
• colonial efforts to erode contemporary or historical matricultures
• linguistic or other cultural endeavours which strengthen matricultures
• trajectory of matrilineality when moved to an urban setting and/or a state society
• traces of transition of matriculture in artwork (any media)
• impact of patriarchal religion on matricultural societies
• new religious movements which centralize feminine deities or supernatural entities

For further information about the conference, here is the AAA/CASCA 2023 webpage (; note that some pages of the website are currently under construction.

Please note: AAA/CASCA membership or conference registration is not required at time of submission. However, all participants must have or create profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database: in order to be listed on submissions. All individuals accepted onto the program will be required to become a member of either CASCA or AAA (or secure a waiver) and pay registration by Friday, September 8 by 11:59 PM Eastern.

To submit a proposal: To join this session of oral, in-person presentations, forward an expression of interest and an abstract of 50 - 250 words to coordinator Linnéa Rowlatt at Submission of the session as a whole will be made by the coordinator (there is no need for individual submissions).

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 17 March 2023


About the Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet)
The Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet) is a project of the International Network for Training, Education, and Research in Culture (Network on Culture) and, specifically, is an international network for research based on Marie-Françoise Guédon’s concept of matriculture. That is, as a cultural system in the classical Geertzian sense within which the experiences and expressions of women are primary.

Similar to other cultural systems such as art, religion, or mathematics, employing the heuristic of matriculture allows for, among other things: cross-cultural comparisons; fresh insights into the social roles of women, men, children, and the entire community of humans, animals, and the environment; or renewed understandings of historically mis-labelled cultures. With Guédon’s work in mind, then, and based on Geertzian principles, the concept of matriculture is both a model of reality by rendering the structure of matricultures apprehensible and a model for reality, where psychological relationships are organized under its guidance. MatNet encourages and supports research which explores, evaluates, re-evaluates, and interprets global cultures from this perspective.

For more information about MatNet, visit our webpage at

Global Matricultures Research Network


Call for Oral Presentations
CASCA / AAA Conference, 15-19 November 2023
Toronto, Ontario

Session: Women Defining Boundaries Between Worlds: Matrilineal Societies, Matricultures, and Shamanism
Modality: In-person
Chair: Angela Sumegi (Carleton)


Deadline for Submission: 17 March 2023


Women Defining Boundaries Between Worlds: Matrilineal Societies, Matricultures, and Shamanism follows Nicole-Claude Mathieu’s injunction to explore the potential linkage between cultures fostering matrilinies, or their social equivalent, and shamanic practices. We want to discuss the processes at work in the intersection and interactions between matriculture and the cultural systems supporting ritual life, religion, and shamanism.

The experiences and expressions of women in every culture are the core of their matricultural cultural system, in the Geertzian sense of the term, including – since every society includes women among its people - women living in patriarchal societies. The vibrancy of any matriculture will be expressed through, among other things, the variety or limited social roles available for women, the personal or sexual identities usually condoned, and the definitions of womanhood; men, too, necessarily participate in matriculture, since they participate in these experiences and expressions. Some cultures limit the experience and expression of women, while other have flourishing matricultures. We are looking for submissions which explore the experiences and/or expressions of women in shamanism.

Topics may include and are not limited to the following:
• women shamans and ritualists
• gendered-centred shamanic practices
• the sacred feminine in human, animal, or mythical forms
• cross-dressing shamans
• female imagery in shamanism
• links between matrilineal kinship systems and women’s spiritual authority
• change of gender to achieve animal-human or spirit-human relationships.
• Exploration of the shamanic training process undergone by women, men, and otherwise-identified genders
• the ritual convergence between shamanic rituals and puberty rituals or other rite-of-passage rituals

For further information about the conference, here is the AAA/CASCA 2023 webpage (; note that some pages of the website are currently under construction.

To submit a proposal: To join this session of oral, in-person presentations, forward an expression of interest and an abstract of 50 - 250 words to coordinator Angela Sumegi at Submission of the session as a whole will be made by the coordinator (there is no need for individual submissions).

Please note: AAA/CASCA membership or conference registration is not required at time of submission. However, all participants must have or create profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database: in order to be listed on submissions. All individuals accepted onto the program will be required to become a member of either CASCA or AAA (or secure a waiver) and pay registration by Friday, September 8 by 11:59 PM Eastern.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 17 March 2023


About the Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet)
The Global Matricultures Research Network (MatNet) is a project of the International Network for Training, Education, and Research in Culture (Network on Culture) and, specifically, is an international network for research based on Marie-Françoise Guédon’s concept of matriculture. That is, as a cultural system in the classical Geertzian sense within which the experiences and expressions of women are primary.

Similar to other cultural systems such as art, religion, or mathematics, employing the heuristic of matriculture allows for, among other things: cross-cultural comparisons; fresh insights into the social roles of women, men, children, and the entire community of humans, animals, and the environment; or renewed understandings of historically mis-labelled cultures. With Guédon’s work in mind, then, and based on Geertzian principles, the concept of matriculture is both a model of reality by rendering the structure of matricultures apprehensible and a model for reality, where psychological relationships are organized under its guidance. MatNet encourages and supports research which explores, evaluates, re-evaluates, and interprets global cultures from this perspective.

For more information about MatNet, visit our webpage at

Call for Papers 2023 CASCA-AAA (Toronto, In-Person):

The Good Way, the Good People: Reflecting on (Forgotten) People, Histories, Relationships, Places and Methods

Drawing from our individual and our collaborative endeavors and life projects, we reflect candidly on the transitional contexts of anthropologists’ decolonial, action anthropological and collaborative inquiries in connection with the ways these have informed our theories, writing, relationships, and institutional engagements to do work ‘in a good way’. We ask, what was, is and can be the role of timely actioned, engaged, and/or relational anthropology during these uncertain times? What can our trans-disciplinary past and especially some of its forgotten, ostracized, ignored, subjugated, yet influential ancestors teach us about critical and enduring legacies for the present and future? We reflect critically on mentors, Elders, peers, and teachers who offered transitional gateways, portals, and re-imaginings of anti-colonial, decolonized, and alternative anthropologies through which we are, in turn, inspired to consider real transitional tools towards ethical, reciprocal, and powerful alliances and approaches for addressing the immense contemporary challenges facing anthropology now. By invoking gifted people and ideas who already transitioned or provided alternative transitional paths towards a decolonized anthropology, we aim to identify radical pathways and alternatives that many of us routinely pass over, ignore, refuse to see. We offer a set of protocols, principles, and insights to inspire the ghosts, contemporaries, and future generations of those interested in working together through transitional contexts of critical decolonial reception histories, reconciliation, climate change, education, and social justice.

We invite all interested parties to submit a proposal/abstract on the above. Please e-mail abstracts (max. 250 words) to Sarah Moritz ( and Joshua Smith ( by March 3rd, 2023.

Please note: AAA/CASCA membership or conference registration is not required at time of submission. However, all participants must have or create profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database: in order to be listed on submissions. All individuals accepted onto the program will be required to become a member of either CASCA or AAA (or secure a waiver) and pay registration by Friday, September 8 by 11:59 PM Eastern.

Please also note that the modality of this session will be in-person in Toronto. Decisions about acceptance will be emailed no later than March 15, 2023.


February 2023
Sue Frohlick & Laura Meek
Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies
University of British Columbia, Okanagan


Roundtable Abstract for the 2023 Annual Meeting of the AAA/CASCA
(American Anthropological Association / Canadian Anthropology Society)

Storying Otherwise: On the Possibilities of Creative Ethnographic Writing

Co-organized by Sue Frohlick and Laura Meek

This roundtable will explore the burgeoning genre of creative ethnographic writing with a particular focus on storying otherwise. We take inspiration from Katherine McKittrick’s (2021) insistence that stories are themselves interventions with world-making potential, prompting us to inquire if storying otherwise might create possibilities for telling different stories and thus for potentiating and enacting different worlds. This question requires us to first recognize the ways in which disciplinary norms around knowledge-making and dissemination are entangled with anthropology’s colonial histories and presents; the academy’s neoliberal orientation; the imperial impetus behind state investment and funding; racialized, gendered, and heteronormative department cultures; differential distributions of risks and harms; and the non-innocent ways in which all these inhere in our body-minds. It also means that the choice of which stories we tell and of how we tell them matters, with stakes that are at once political, epistemic, ethical, and ontological (Hunt 2014, Meek and Morales Fontanilla 2022). Through storying otherwise there lies the potential to disrupt long-guarded boundaries including those between scholarship, politics, and creative writing.

Reworking disciplinary practices around writing, this roundtable will explore storytelling as a form of speculative thinking-with-care (Puig de la Bellacasa 2012) that is committed to feminist, anti-racist, queer, and anticolonial worldmaking. In today’s neoliberal academy, we face increasing demands for “data,” in the form of objectified, rationalized, disciplined facts (Harvey and Moten 2013). Yet the work we do—as fieldworkers, activists, teacher-scholars, community collaborators, and co-thinkers with myriad others—often unfolds in ways that resist and refuse the dictates of data-making (Tuck and Yang 2014). Such excesses may reside as ellipses, questions, disconcertments, or half-thoughts that populate our fieldnotes but never make it into the structuring form of journal articles (Frohlick 2022). A story, on the other hand, can remain open, unresolved, and unsettling. This roundtable thus experiments with storying otherwise to disrupt enclosure and to harness the creativity, willfulness, and possibilities of stories that, through their refusal of reductive and instrumentalizing logics, “do” other things.

We invite participants to engage with these possibilities in an infinite variety of ways. Panelists might reflect upon excesses in their own fieldwork or fieldnotes to ask what storying these moments might potentiate. They may offer a critique of writing conventions that is performed through storying otherwise—such as reading a partially “cooked” poem or a narrative that has been stitched across/between “raw” fieldnotes. Panelists might also consider how storytelling reworks prevailing epistemological frameworks, ontological certainties, or disciplinary norms; how telling certain stories in certain ways (and perhaps, opting not to tell others) facilitates ethical, interpersonal, and community obligations; and/or the possibilities and limitations of deploying stories in various registers—as knowledge making, public engagement, or worlding practices, to name a few. Together we will explore how storying otherwise might bring knowledge, entities, relations, and worlds into being through its enactment and how this endeavor might move anthropological “work” into public audiences and spheres beyond the academy, performing a politics that is inseparable from its form (Rethmann 2022).

We invite potential panelists to submit a short expression of interest (noting what you would like to share or discuss) to Sue Frohlick ( and Laura Meek ( by Friday, March 10. Individual abstracts are not required for roundtables, nor is membership or conference registration required at time of submission. However, all participants must have (or make) profiles in the AAA Community Hub (AAA's membership and registration database) in order to be listed on submissions. Please also note that the modality of this roundtable will be in-person in Toronto. Decisions about acceptance will be emailed no later than March 15.


Frohlick, Susan. 2022. Loss, Commemoration, and Listening… For Yoko. Anthropologica 64(2): 1-16.

Harvey, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. New York: Minor Compositions.

Hunt, Sarah. 2014. Ontologies of Indigeneity: The Politics of Embodying a Concept. Cultural Geographies 21(1): 27-32.

McKittrick, Katherine. 2021. Dear Science and Other Stories. Durham: Duke University Press.

Meek, Laura A., and Julia Alejandra Morales Fontanilla. 2022. Otherwise. Feminist Anthropology 3(2): 274-283. Special Issue on Keywords: A Feminist Vocabulary.

Puig de la Bellacasa, María. 2012. “Nothing Comes Without Its World”: Thinking With Care. The Sociological Review 60(2): 197-216.

Rethmann, Petra. 2022. Otherwise: Ethnography, Form, Change. Introduction to Theme Issue. Anthropologica 64(1): 1-9.

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. 2014. R-Worlds: Refusing Research. In Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with Youth and Communities, edited by Django Paris and Maisha T. Winn, pgs. 223-248. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Call for Papers
Sanctioned Ethnographies

The logic and practice of economic sanctions have existed for almost a century (Mulder 2022). Today, economic sanctions are widely accepted and implemented as a nonviolent alternative to militarized intervention. In 2015, a UN official estimated that one-third of the world’s population lives in countries that are under some form of economic sanctions (such as individual travel bans, asset freezes, investment bans, technological use restrictions, trade restrictions, full economic blockade, etc. (Mack and Khan 2000; Peksen 2009). However, recent studies, especially those guided by a critical, anti-imperialist and anti-war perspective, argue that economic sanctions must be regarded as a weapon of warfare that exacerbates deprivation and material isolation of groups within sanctioned populations, who already occupy positions of vulnerability and precarity (Davis and Ness 2022; Mack and Khan 2000; Peksen 2009; Yildiz 2020). Sanctions do not contribute to the advancement of human rights; on the contrary they result in greater violations of human rights (Peksen 2009). Sanctions may strengthen the same regimes they seek to weaken (Jones 2015; Mack and Khan 2000). Moreover, sanctions of the twentieth century have specifically facilitated and sustained political and economic hegemony of mostly western nation-states, which global supremacy directly depends on their power to impose economic sanctions for “rogue” nations (Davis and Ness 2022).

Despite an existing necessity to scrutinize these political and ideological problematics of economic sanctions, this panel will not be about sanctions per se. Here, we want to open a space and offer a platform for critical discussion of explicit and implicit effects that economic sanctions might have on anthropological episteme and its production (ethnography). We encourage the contributors to interrogate and expand on the following questions: What specific conditions do sanctions regimes create within targeted societies that complicate or even impede ethnographic inquiry? What multifaceted effects sanctions may have on ethnographic research and on ethnographers? How may positionality of anthropologists (specifically “native” anthropologists) facilitate and/or complicate “sanctioned ethnography”? How may “sanctioned ethnographies” reveal existing limitations of the discipline of anthropology and its own shaping by particular hegemonic political and economic conditions? Finally, how can we use an anthropological episteme on sanctioned societies as a tool to critique sanctions as “not an alternative to traditional warfare but instead an expansion that has potential to leach into all aspects of civil society within targeted nations and beyond” (Davis and Ness 2022)?

We are especially interested to receive presentation proposals/abstracts from “native” anthropologists who are working on projects within countries under economic sanctions by western nation-states. Please email abstracts (maximum 500 words) to Sardana Nikolaeva ( and Parisa Mah ( by March 21, 2023.

Davis, Stuart, and Immanuel Ness. 2022. Sanctions As War: Anti-Imperialist Perspectives on American Geo-Economic Strategy. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
Jones, Lee. 2015. Societies Under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mack, Andrew, and Asif Khan. 2000. “The Efficacy of UN Sanctions.” Security Dialogue 31, no. 3: 279-92.
Mulder, Nicholas. 2022. The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Peksen, Dursun. 2009. “Better or Worse? The Effect of Economic Sanctions on Human Rights.” Journal of Peace Research 46, no. 1: 59-77.
Yildiz, Emrah. 2020. “Nested (In)Securities: Commodity and Currency Circuits in an Iran under Sanctions.” Cultural Anthropology 35, no. 2: 218-24.



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