Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meetings (Santa Monica, CA March 31 – April 3, 2011)

This announcement is being circulated by the Society for Psychological Anthropology:

Announcement and Call for Papers: 
Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meetings
“Subjects and Their Milieux in Late Modernity: The Relevance of Psychological Anthropology to Contemporary Problems and Issues

Sheraton Delfina Hotel | online hotel reservation
Santa Monica, CA
March 31-April 3, 2011

In this conference, we continue to innovate within psychological anthropology and reach across subdisciplinary and disciplinary boundaries to explore new areas of practice and theory for the second decade of the 21st century. Psychological anthropology is the subdiscipline best positioned intellectually and empirically to detail both how large social forces influence individuals and how subjective experience and interpersonal dynamics can transform social institutions. We will focus especially on the relevance of psychological anthropology to problems and issues in the contemporary world–from changing families, workplaces and local communities to religious groups, professions, and transnational institutions like consumer capitalism, world religions, and NGOs. We are excited to see how participants approach data across scales of analysis to reveal the ways in which psychological anthropology can enrich approaches to questions that have traditionally been outside of or peripheral to the concerns of the subdiscipline.

Examples of possible panels and papers are ones on child and adolescent development; overlaps between psychological and medical anthropology; transforming perspectives on family, gender, and sexuality; memory and trauma; narrative and identity in institutional contexts; and rethinking theories and research strategies to explore new forms of communication, communities, and being alone. Historical, reflective, applied, and paradigm-building panels and papers are welcome as well.

In addition to panels and discussion groups, we will also schedule several plenary sessions and coffee breaks that will bring our group together as a whole and facilitate more informal conversation and networking. Professor Gananath Obeyesekere has been invited to give one of the plenary talks and to receive a lifetime achievement award. There will also be a reception/banquet on Friday, April 1 to present awards to authors of prize-winning books and papers and to honor Robert Lemelson for his generous, personal gifts to the SPA. Rob is also planning to host a party for all attendees on Saturday, April 2.

The deadline for submitting panel and paper proposals is December 1, 2010, but earlier submissions are highly welcome. Both individual papers (15 minutes) and full panels (1 hour and 45 minutes) are welcome. Younger scholars are particularly encouraged to suggest panel, paper, or discussion group topics. Abstracts are required for individually submitted papers, for panels, and for each paper on a panel (panel abstract and abstracts for the papers on the panel should be submitted together) and no abstract should be longer than 250 words. Each participant is allowed to have two formal roles: to give a paper, and to be a discussant. However, we encourage the submission of less formal sessions as well. In these less formal sessions, participation does not count against the two-role rule. A discussion session can be formed by listing people who will speak for no more than five minutes, and then opening up the floor to general discussion. In this case, the session requires a session abstract but no abstracts from participants. A workshop is a focused discussion around a practical theme: for example, publication venues, team ethnography, specific methods, etc. Again, the workshop format presumes that papers are not given and the primary focus is discussion. A workshop requires a workshop abstract, but no abstracts from participants. Film and poster proposals are also welcome. Please submit proposals to the program chair, Rebecca Lester (

For information about registering for the meeting, the conference hotel and venue and updates, please visit the conference website.

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