SWAA 2012 Archive

The SWAA Annual Conference for 2012 took place on April 19–21 at the California State University, Chico. Learn more about the event:

Call for Papers

Telling Stories:
Analysis, Interpretation, and Narrative

The Southwestern Anthropological Association invites proposals from across the subdisciplines of anthropology for its 2012 Annual Conference “Telling Stories: Analysis, Interpretation, and Narrative”. Anthropology unites us all, both because and in spite of subdisciplinary differences and theoretical discourses: we all share in the production of collective representations that embody our eclectic discipline.

In recognition of this common project, our conference for 2012 is an invitation to think about how anthropologists of all subdisciplines analyze, interpret and understand our data, about how we describe our research, and how we reach our conclusions. Interpretation is highly problematic, however, and each subdiscipline has developed a variety of methods to ensure that erroneous conclusions are, if not altogether rare, at least eventually replaced with more accurate interpretations. Nevertheless, call it what you will, at its most fundamental level we tell stories about the data our research generates. We all do it. So, let us consider the matter directly: What role does narrative play in our analyses? How and why do we tell stories to each other? Which stories do we avoid telling? Why? If our observations are to matter beyond the rarefied atmosphere of abstractions, how can the stories we tell reach audiences outside of the classroom, resonate among the powerless and powerful alike, and inspire future students of humanity’s past and present to learn our craft? We are interested in proposals for films, organized sessions, and posters, in addition to papers.

Our banquet speaker will be Byron Wolfe, Guggenheim Fellow and Professor of Communication Design at CSU Chico. Professor Wolfe’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas and others.