Call for Papers

Solidarit(i)és: CASCA/SANA Conference May 11-15, 2016

How have anthropological engagements with “solidarity” –the principle of shared responsibilities, identities and interests– shaped our thinking about the social worlds in which we do our work? Recent movements such as Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, the Arab Spring, Occupy movements, and responses to the Syrian refugee crisis, have renewed anthropological and public interest about our shared –and often denied– responsibilities and interests. What challenges and opportunities are generated by anthropological engagements with social movements, policy, and political practice?

Solidarities are a response to the terrible things that place human lives and dignity in peril. Humanitarianism grows out of a global cosmopolitan engagement with distant suffering and the notion that we share something with others on the basis of our common humanity. Rights movements and labour movements respond to the injustices and violence committed against the marginalized. On the other hand, those terrible things that threaten lives and livelihoods are themselves born of solidarities. Boundary work includes exclusion, prejudice, extermination, or repression. Indeed, it is the double edge of solidarities that interests us and that we will collectively consider.

Solidarities have long preoccupied anthropology. The question of what is a group, the nature of social bonds and alliances, and their dissolution, are as old as the discipline itself. Anthropologists are well suited to analyze the dual character of solidarities in the contemporary moment. The methodological concern for everyday life, multiple scales of analysis, and reflexivity are tools for examining the emergence of new political alliances, as well as where mobilizing populations in the name of solidarity has produced political violence or where the imagined ideal moral order excludes populations defined as different. Solidarities speak to relations of affinity, empathy, and alliance. But alliances also create boundaries, social, political, territorial, physical, and between the natural world including humans and other species.

The conference will explore the future of our discipline, and consider how we ethically research and participate in the often fraught terrain of social and political mobilizations and movements.  We invite panels and papers that explore how anthropologists define and engage with solidarities, looking at the histories, moments, and sites of connection and alliance, informed by the complexities of inequality and difference, and which may involve failed or fractured solidarities.

Panels might address some of the following questions:

  • Which solidarities are privileged over others, by whom, and to what ends?
  • How do solidarities unite or divide groups –human from animal; young from old; the healthy from the ill; the privileged from the disenfranchised?
  • How do anthropologists engage with social movements and political practices? What methodological and ethical opportunities and challenges emerge?
  • How are human and non-human actors aligned?
  • What roles do institutions play in building social alliances and divisions?
  • What is solidarity? How ought we to understand solidarities theoretically?

Proposal Submissions
CASCA/SANA 2016 invites different types of proposals and strongly encourages panels and symposia that will bring together presenters from a variety of academic and non-academic backgrounds.

Organisers of panels, symposia, or roundtables may wish to advertise their session and find presenters through the CASCA and SANA list-servs. You can email your call for papers to SANA for circulation on their list-serve at: and to CASCA for circulation on their list-serve and posting on the Conference Classifieds on the CASCA website at

View CASCA Conference Classifieds :

Conference participants are limited to presenting one paper at CASCA/SANA 2016. However, there is no limit on the number of other roles per participant, such as, discussant, panel chair, organizer, and round-table participant. Note: discussants can register as a ‘paper as part of a panel’ and then add a comment that they are acting as discussant.

15-minute papers
Individual proposals accepted by the 2016 conference program committee will be organized into thematic sessions. The submission for a paper must include the presentation title, abstract (of 100 to 150 words), keywords, and co-authors (if applicable). If you are part of an organised panel or symposium, you will also provide the name of the organiser and title of the panel. If you are a panel or symposium organiser, please provide an abstract describing the proposed panel or symposia and list the participants.

90-minute panels
Panels will be composed of 4 to 5 presentations, followed by a discussion. Please do not include more than 4 presentations should a formal discussant be invited. The panel organiser should provide a 100 to 150 word abstract describing the theme of the proposed panel or symposia and include a list of the participants (including, the chair and the discussant).

Symposia will be composed of at least 2 panels of 90 minutes each, back to back in the same location (as scheduling permits). The symposium organiser should provide a 100 to 150-word abstract describing the theme of the proposed symposium, and a list of participants (including the chair and the discussant/s).

Round-tables will be 90 minutes in length, addressing a specific theme or issue to be submitted by the organizer of the round-table. The roundtable organizer should include a 100-150 word abstract describing the theme and include a list of 3 confirmed participants (minimum) and the chair. Round-table participants must submit short abstracts or talking points (up to 100 words) and go through the regular registration process, filling in the appropriate fields of the round-table participation form.

Graduate students
Graduate students returning from the field and/or having collected first-hand research material are invited to apply to the conference.   We also welcome in-depth and advanced analytical works by PhD students. Please note that conference papers should not consist of a course-based project, and the conference does not accept panels with only student participants.

Student poster presentations
Undergraduate honours and MA students are encouraged to present a poster summary of their research projects and findings. Abstracts for poster presentations should be up to 100 words. For more information, please write to

Student Travel Grant
The Canadian Anthropology Society makes available a limited number of travel grants to attend the annual conference. The awards are available to doctoral students registered in Canadian Anthropology departments.


Submissions for advanced undergraduate and MA poster presentations are accepted until March 15. Info available at:

Submissions are no longer accepted. Registration remains open for conference participants without papers and official roles.

Paper acceptance notification date: late March, 2016

For Registration please follow the links on our registration page. 

Or for more information, please contact: