Association for the Anthropology of North America SANA Association for the Anthropology of North America

A Section of the American Anthropological Association

SANA 2013 Conference

Uncertain Futures

March 15-16, 2013
Durham, North Carolina

You'll find the preliminary schedule at the bottom of this page

Conference Overview

North America seems to be at something of an impasse. Many of political projects, cultural movements, social imaginaries, and economic developments that have structured life in Mexico, Canada and the United States seem to have lost energy, and seem to be moving forward because of inertia alone. Moreover, we might question whether the concepts that have been used to interrogate North American life during the recent past--neoliberalism, late capitalism, postindustrialism, whiteness, postracialism, privatization, virtualization, revanchism, and militarization, to mention a few--are adequate in the face of new realities. Finally, as teachers, researchers and intellectuals, we must contend with new limits and potentialities for the production of knowledge in the context of an academy in rapid flux.

With all this in mind, we have selected “Uncertain Futures,” as the theme for the Society for the Anthropology of North America’s (SANA) bi-annual conference, which will be hosted by Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on March 14-16, 2013. This conference aims to explore the uncertain futures envisioned by our informants, interlocutors, and research subjects and the uncertain futures augured by the processes we study. Moreover, this conference is intended to provide a space in which new visions of North Americanist anthropology can emerge. Whether in politics, culture, economics, or academia, uncertainty does not always portend strife: it also bears potential for positive, and often long-awaited, change.

Towards these ends, participants will enjoy a refreshing new approach that bucks the traditional panel-driven conference format by providing a variety of creative ways to present, analyze, and discuss critical issues in North American research. The 2013 conference will have three key features aimed at providing an environment of collegiality, academic citizenship, and sustained intellectual exchange:


Hotel information

Interior shot from a communal room at The Hilton Durham

The Hilton Durham
3800 Hillsborough Rd
Durham, NC 27705

For the special rate of $95/night, please book by February 14. Reservations may be made online. Reservations may also be made by calling 1-800-HILTONS. Please refer to the SANA Conference or the Booking Code “SANA” for the discounted rate.

The hotel will provide a FREE shuttle service to the conference and downtown Durham. The hotel also offers an airport shuttle service for $35 for two passengers plus $5 for each additional passenger.

Uncertain Futures: Preliminary Schedule

March 15-16, 2013, Duke University Durham, North Carolina

Discipline and Punishment
organized by Andrea Morrell (CUNY) & Maggie Dickinson (CUNY)
What do cultures of punishment – who is punished and how – tell us about power, inequality and the state? This track situates regimes of punishment and law within the broader political economy, and interrogates punishment as a fluid construction that can be mobilized in contradictory ways by numerous constituencies in various contexts.
Integrated Approaches to a Sustainable Future
organized by Sandy Smith-Nonini, Don Nonini, & Ruth Backstrom (UNC-Chapel Hill)
This track focuses on the challenges and opportunities presented by the intertwined climate change/energy crises and economic crises. Just as this crisis exacerbates the problems of poverty, drawing attention to the challenges opens up opportunities to re-examine issues of equity, justice, moral obligations and acknowledge our interwoven fate.
Freedom, Futurity and Doom
organized by The Keywords Collective
Since futurity is central to past and present imaginaries, what are we to make of the bleak view of the future, of the role of intellectuals in the 21st century, and ultimately of the forms of democracy that are possible in the world today? What other ideas about the future animate popular, political and intellectual thought and practice today? This track encourages contributors of various ranks who work across topics, theoretical perspectives and regions to think beyond the usual subjects with their usual suspects.
Contested Spaces
organized by Jessica Christie (East Carolina University)
Throughout North America, groups collide over uses of space and understandings of place, which often draws them into conflict with one another about issues such as land rights, tourism projects, imminent domain, or the tension between oral narratives and land boundaries. We seek submissions for papers that examine how groups negotiate such contested spaces, and in some instances construct bridges that lead to more respectful relations.

SANA © 2010 Society for the Anthropology of North America. SANA is a section of the American Anthropological Association.