CALL FOR PAPERS: Conference theme: Cosmopolitan Anthropologies

CALL FOR PAPERS: Conference theme: Cosmopolitan Anthropologies

The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, and the Department of General Practice and Rural Health, are this year’s hosts of the combined ASAANZ/AAS Conference to be held in Queenstown, New Zealand, on 10-13 November 2014.

The keynote speakers are Professor Nigel Rapport (St Andrews University, Scotland) and Professor Sharon Kaufman (University of California, San Francisco, USA).

The call for papers is now open (deadline 30 June 2014). Day 4 is focused on cosmopolitan health care practices from the perspective of medical anthropology.


More information at


Call for Papers

This combined conference of the New Zealand and the Australian anthropological societies explores and extends the critical study of cosmopolitan anthropologies by debating the theoretical value and practical applicability of an array of grounded Antipodean cosmopolitan anthropologies and (on day 4) by engaging systematically with the literature on cosmopolitan anthropologies from the perspective of medical anthropology. The aim is thus to further internationalize anthropological thinking and practice in New Zealand and Australia and to create a formal contribution to anthropological scholarship through the publication of two edited collections drawn from the overall conference presentations and one special issue of the New Zealand based journal Sites featuring conference papers engaging with the theme of cosmopolitan anthropologies of the Pacific.

Cosmopolitanism’s roots extend back to the Enlightenment notion that every human has equal worth and ought to have an allegiance to human kind beyond kinship or country. In response to this, some anthropologists have engaged with cosmopolitanism as a research method that recognizes fellow global citizens in ‘the Other’ and shifts away from ‘nation’ or ‘culture’ as units of analysis towards understandings of the local/global nexus. Anthropologists have also approached cosmopolitanism as an object of study by attempting to identify a social category of cosmopolitans. In this view, cosmopolitanism governs everyday interactions within societal landscapes, sculpted by globalization and the erosion of borders. However ‘cosmopolitan consciousness’ is also a topic of debate as social scientists question if simple bodily co-presence, travel, transnational lifestyles or a high degree of mobility necessarily lead to reflexive, conscious cosmopolitanism or self-transformation. In global terms, when most people still ‘stay put’, how does cosmopolitan consciousness link with cultural capitals and what is the social reality of life in ‘actually-existing’ or ‘mundane’ cosmopolitanism. There are also tensions between cosmopolitanisms and other contemporary experiences of modernity such as fundamentalism, nationalism, ‘failed’ multiculturalism and indigenous renaissance. The last in particular is  based, in part, on special relationships with specific landscapes. Finally, some significant subdisciplines in anthropology, such as health and medical anthropology, have failed to engage extensively with the notion of cosmopolitanism altogether. Thus, we invite international and local scholars to contribute to the exploration and conceptualisation of both grounded and abstracted cosmopolitan anthropologies – their definition, elaboration, theorisation, politicisation and contestation.

Two prestigious keynote speakers will address the delegates, Professor Nigel Rapport (St Andrews University, Scotland) and Prof Sharon Kaufman (University of California).  In addition to the delegates’ presentation of original ideas for abstracts and panels for this conference, the programme will also feature invited speakers for panels on the following topics: “Politesse as ethics?”; “Feminisms and cosmopolitanisms”; “Cosmopolitan health care practices” and  “The case for and against a grounded Antipodean Cosmopolitan Anthropology or Anthropologies.”


The NZ organisers welcome presentations on the theme in the form of papers, posters or audio-visual presentations.

Please forward abstracts for papers and posters of no more than 400 words for consideration to

Please forward abstracts for audio-visual presentations for consideration to

Audio-visual sessions may consist of current visual culture research material from postgraduate students, feature-length ethnographic films with a common theme, multimedia presentations, or visual anthropology paper presentations with short filmic or photographic excerpts.

We also invite abstracts for papers and posters for consideration on the specific invited panel themes of:

  • politesse as ethics
  • feminisms and cosmopolitanisms
  • cosmopolitan health care practises
  • the case for and against a grounded antipodean cosmopolitan anthropology or anthropologies

Please note on your abstract if you would like your paper to be considered for inclusion in these special panels – we will advise of the selection process outcome after the call for papers is concluded. Papers proposed but not included in these special panels will still be featured in the larger conference programme.
Again, please send your abstract of no more than 400 words for consideration to

We are also pleased to accept papers and posters of a more general nature that do not engage specifically with the theme of cosmopolitanism while still engaging with anthropological topics in general.
Again, please send your abstract of no more than 400 words for consideration to

Papers will be grouped into related themes by the conference organisers. If you and a group of colleagues are proposing related papers and would like your papers to be scheduled next to each other, please let us know.


Spoken Presentations

Please plan for 20 minute presentations (15 minutes talk and 5 minutes questions).


Posters should be no more than 1.2 m x 1 m in dimension.

The best quality papers will be published in two peer reviewed, edited book collections and one special issue of the New Zealand based journal Sites.

Deadline for Abstracts

30 June 2014