Distribute 2020

The Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Society for Visual Anthropology are excited to bring to you our second carbon-neutral biennial conference: Distribute 2020, which will take place May 7, 8, and 9, 2020.

Like its previous iteration (Displacements 2018), Distribute 2020 will be virtual and distributed: virtual in that it will be anchored by a dedicated conference website streaming prerecorded multimedia panels; and distributed in that presenters and viewers from across the globe will participate in the conference via in-person local “nodes.”

Distribute 2020 will offer three full days of streamed audio-visual panels and in-person local nodes where participants can gather with others to view the conference and join in related activities like workshops, art exhibitions, and dinner salons. Our goal is a low-cost, highly accessible, carbon-neutral conference that might pave the way for rethinking the mega-conference model.

Our 2020 theme, “Distribute” is meant to operate on multiple levels. Distribute is an analytic lens to study the dispersal, diffusion, and (re)distribution of humans and nonhumans, and of resources, practices, and ideas. Distribute is also a call or imperative—redistribute!—to prompt more ethically and politically engaged forms of scholarship.

Distribute 2020 asks: How can we turn our collective anthropological attention to questions of distribution and redistribution, and to the economics and politics, the violence and poetics of allocation and dispensation, movement and migration, organizing and repositioning? And, in so doing, how might we generate forms of publicly engaged scholarship that reach beyond the traditional confines of academia?

Distribute 2020 joins a rising tide of voices addressing such critical questions, offering an anthropological response and a means to imagine another anthropology into existence.

View a teaser for the conference. View the conference website.