Call for Proposals | Engaging Anthropology | 50th Anniversary Conference of Department of Anthropology at UMass Amherst

Conference Logo for Engaging Anthropology

Call For Proposals

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a four-day conference, Engaging Anthropology, October 3-6, 2019 as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. Our conference theme, Engaging Anthropology, is meant to highlight a history of engaging with the many challenges of the day. At this moment of escalating precarity and deepening inequalities, of resurgent nativisms, social dislocations, and ongoing colonialism—and with climate change threatening life as we know it—how can we approach anthropology and mobilize anthropological theory and methods to help us make sense of and respond to these conditions, as well as identify and work towards alternatives?

Proposal Submissions

We seek papers, presentations, events, workshops, posters, and other activities that engage the discipline of anthropology in critical dialogue and mobilize anthropological theory and methods towards transformative practice. Complete session proposals are preferred but we will also accept individual abstracts.

In-line with our department history and the field's diversity of approaches and orientations towards research and teaching, sessions and conversations around our theme of Engaging Anthropology might include any of these areas (though you need not limit your submissions to these areas).

  • Bio-Cultural Synthesis
  • New Directions in Archaeology and Social Justice
  • Marxism today
  • Engaged Pedagogy
  • Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Critical Heritage Studies
  • Activism and Organizing
  • Medical Anthropology and Global Health
  • Whiteness and Racism
  • Feminist & Queer Theory's impact for Anthropology
  • Indigenous Epistemologies & Methods
  • Anthropology of Europe
  • Political Ecology and Environmental Anthropology

Proposal Submission and Registration will open April 1 and remain open through June 30. See website for more details, ( and read on for more information on proposals and conference activities.

Confirmed Plenary Events 

Distinguished Lecturer in the Anthropology of Europe

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

Jason De León, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Black Feminism Today

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

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

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

Engaging the Present, Envisioning the Future panel including:

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

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

Special Events

Through your proposals we are putting together a number of exciting events that currently include a tour of the area landscape, dinners and socials, community engaged workshops, and professional development sessions for students.

For more information or questions, or to propose a preliminary idea for a session, workshop, or event please contact the conference planning committee at

Join the Facebook event site at or visit the conference page for updates