Anthropologies of Conflict in a New Millennium
American Ethnological Society and Association for Political and Legal Anthropology 

Spring Conference 2013
April 11-13, 2013 Chicago

Preliminary Program available!!

From the events of September 11 to the war in Iraq, from the Arab spring to Greek riots, from the invasion of Afghanistan to the occupation of Wall Street, the opening of the new millennium has witnessed a burst of new forms of conflict around the world. For anthropologists, these events have raised profound questions both about the nature of human conflict and about the place of our discipline within it. How should anthropologists understand the new forms of conflict that increasingly dominate the world stage? In what ways do we need to rethink our accustomed notions of power, of nation, of technology, and of the relationship between individual and group? And how do we situate ourselves, scientifically and morally, amid the contending groups whose cultures we study?

In April of 2013, the American Ethnological Society and the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology will explore these questions at our joint Spring Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and special events that interrogate the place of conflict in anthropological thought and practice. Possible subjects might include, but are not limited to:

  • Anthropologists in conflict zones
  • Meanings of power in the contemporary world
  • The ethics of anthropological engagement with military authorities
  • Law and violence
  • The meanings of protest on the international stage
  • Practices of conflict resolution, repair, and reconciliation
  • The changing role of the nation-state
  • Religion and power in contemporary conflicts
  • The role of the legal process in times of conflict
  • Conflict and the surveillance state
  • Changing understandings of religious fundamentalism
  • Anthropological ethics in a time of violence
  • The role and influence of diaspora populations in conflict
  • Ethnography of specific conflict arenas  – e.g., the Occupy movement, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, the Arab Spring, the European austerity revolts, the War on Terror, the Tea Party movement

As always, paper and panel proposals on topics unrelated to the meetings theme are also welcome.

Proposals for workshops and special events should be submitted through the online portal by February 1, 2013.

Proposals for panels and individual papers should be submitted through the online portal by February 15, 2013.

BREAKING NEWS (JANUARY 2013): AES’s graduate student representative, Jessica Hardin ( ) has assembled the following graduate-student workshops for the spring meetings. We are pleased to announce that AES will provide a subsidy of $160 (the cost of one night conference hotel) for graduate students who participate in any of the following three workshops (A-C). Details on subsidy eligibility and workshop registration is forthcoming. We will also be hosting a grad student mixer at the meetings, details to come!

A) Methodological and Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Research on Conflict and Violence, led by Carolyn Nordstrom (U of Notre Dame) and Sally Engle Merry (NYU) (subsidy available)

B) Managing Careers, Balancing Personal Life, led by Andrew Buckser (Purdue U) (subsidy available)

C) Conflict and New Media, facilitators TBA (subsidy available)

We also are offering a workshop at the spring meetings called “Grant Proposal Writing for Recent PhDs,” facilitators TBA (no subsidy for this one!). Info on how to register is forthcoming.

Register for the Conference

Submit a Paper, Panel, Workshop or Special Event:  (Note: you must first register for the conference; registration fee refunds will be provided if your proposal is not accepted)

For more information, please see the AES and APLA websites, or contact Program Chair Andrew Buckser at .

Hotel information: The conference will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Chicago – Magnificent Mile, 300 East Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. (312)787-6100. Conference Registrants receive a special rate of $159 per night for single, double, or triple occupancy. All rooms include high-speed Internet access for no additional charge.

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