AAA 2015 Conference Theme: “Familiar/Strange”
Casting common sense in new light by making the familiar seem strange and the strange seem familiar is a venerable strategy used across anthropology’s subfields. It can denaturalize taken-for-granted frames and expand the horizons of students and public alike. But useful as this process of estrangement and familiarization can be, it can lapse into exoticism through “us/them” comparisons that veil historical and contemporary relations of power and powerlessness within and across societies. As an orienting theme for the 2015 Denver meeting of the AAA, we invite proposals for Executive Program Committee (EPC) sponsorship (sessions, forums, special events, installations or media submissions) that press us to grapple with how and why this strategy proves both productive and obstructive, considering what it simultaneously opens up and ‘nails down.’ We particularly seek proposals that bring together and foster dialogue among subfields as we scrutinize the multiple uses and effects of this durable anthropological ‘way of knowing.’
The deadline for submissions to the EPC is Feb. 17, 2015, at noon, via the AAA website.