Anthropology forum seeks papers for non-academic audiences

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/22 June) – For its 33rd annual conference late this year, the Ugnayang Aghamtao (UGAT, or Anthropological Society of the Philippines) wants to do a first: accept only papers written in a non-academic style.

In an invitation sent to MindaNews, UGAT said they want to dispel the stereotype that anthropologists are simply preoccupied with topics that are too distant and abstract for most audiences. Anthropological knowledge should not only be accessible but also instructive to the wider public to which it should be accountable, it added.

UGAT said that despite having set the stage for greater public participation by tackling compelling social and cultural issues affecting Philippine society, they have yet to deeply engage non-academic audiences to uphold the “transformative potentials of anthropological knowledge”.

The group said they want to gauge the contribution of anthropologists to “public anthropology” through their participation in the fields of policymaking, media, and rights advocacy, among others.

Papers may tackle any of the following themes or topics:

– Commentaries on current participation of anthropologists and related practitioners in the public arena

– Development of processes and strategies towards greater visibility of anthropology and anthropologists in the public sphere

– Ways towards ethical collaborative engagements and critique between anthropologists and their publics (e.g., indigenous peoples, migrant communities, media practitioners, policymakers, government officials, educators)

– Constructive and collaborative anthropological engagements in knowledge production, application, and dissemination (e.g., census, social policy and program development, public health, disaster
management, education)

– Critical reflections on rights/social justice-based community partnerships (e.g., issue-oriented mobilization, community-based development planning, and anthropologist-local actor co-authorship in knowledge production)

UGAT, however, said it also welcomes papers addressing issues outside the conference theme for consideration under a session on special topics.

The conference will be held at the Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Bukidnon on October 20-22, and carries the theme “Anthropology Cares for Its Publics”.

Deadline for submission of abstracts, each containing no more than 250 words, is July 15. Interested parties may visit for more details or write to [email protected] for inquiries. (MindaNews)