The Society holds its biennial meeting in the spring of even-numbered years. It also organizes a number of events during the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

SCA Biennial

The Society's biennial meeting offers a counterpoint to the larger, more diffuse conferences that many of our members also attend. Even as the number of attendees has grown, the meeting has retained its intimate scale and thematic cohesiveness.

In 2018, the SCA partnered with the Society for Visual Anthropology on a hybrid format that paired online presentations and film screenings with face-to-face gatherings at local nodes. See conference organizer Anand Pandian's reflection on the event for further details.

Past SCA Meetings

  • 2016 Ithaca, “Collaboration”
  • 2014 Detroit, “The Ends of Work”
  • 2012 Providence, “Life and Death: A Conversation”
  • 2010 Santa Fe, “Nature Culture”
  • 2008 Long Beach, “Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics”
  • 2006 Milwaukee, “Translations of Value”
  • 2004 Portland, “Sovereignty”
  • 2001 Montreal, “Engaging Regimes of Technoscience”
  • 1999 San Francisco, “States of Power: Culture, Governmentality, and Markets in Transition”
  • 1997 San Francisco, “Millennial Futures”
  • 1995 New York City, “States of Violence and the Violence of Status”
  • 1994 Chicago, “Cultural Production under Late Capitalism”
  • 1993 Washington, “Cultural Borders”
  • 1992 Austin, “Culture and Colonization”
  • 1991 Boston, “Culture and Memory”
  • 1990 Santa Monica, “Making Popular Culture”
  • 1989 Washington, “Challenges to the Concept of Culture”
  • 1988 Washington, “The Relationship Between Culture and Self”

Since 1999, the David Schneider Lecture has formed the cornerstone of the SCA’s biennial meeting. The lecture is named for one of the SCA’s founders and a defining figure in twentieth-century cultural anthropology.

Past David Schneider Lectures

  • 2018 Jason De León (University of Michigan), Lisa Stevenson (McGill University), Eduardo Kohn (McGill University), and Stephanie Spray (University of Colorado Boulder)
  • 2016 Kim Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Douglas Holmes (Binghamton University), Alberto Corsín Jiménez (Spanish National Research Council), George Marcus (University of California, Irvine), and Annelise Riles (Cornell University)
  • 2014 Kathi Weeks (Duke University) and Sylvia Yanagisako (Stanford University)
  • 2012 João Biehl (Princeton University) and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (University of Montreal)
  • 2010 Donna Haraway (University of California, Santa Cruz) and John Law (Open University)
  • 2008 Talal Asad (Graduate Center, City University of New York)
  • 2006 Timothy Mitchell (New York University)
  • 2004 Mahmood Mamdani (Columbia University)
  • 2001 Paul Rabinow (University of California, Berkeley)
  • 1999 Ashraf Ghani (World Bank)

SCA Events at the AAA Annual Meeting

In addition to holding its annual business meeting, sponsoring sessions on the scholarly program, and holding student–faculty workshops, the SCA holds a signature event known as Culture at Large. The event places three discussants in conversation with a distinguished interlocutor from outside of anthropology. The 2018 Culture at Large session, organized in collaboration with the Association of Black Anthropologists, featured historian Robin D. G. Kelley and responses by John Jackson, Jr., Gary Wilder, and Savannah Shange.

Past Culture at Large Events

  • 2017 “Fieldwork and the Native Informant,” with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
  • 2016 “Engaging with Inequality and Affective States,” with Javier Auyero
  • 2015 “Injury and Creation,” with Elaine Scarry
  • 2014 “The Future of Race in Science: Regression or Revolution?” with Dorothy Roberts
  • 2013 “Iconology Meets Anthropology: Totemism, Fetishism, Iconoclasm,” with W. J. T. Mitchell
  • 2012 “On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life,” with Lauren Berlant
  • 2011 “The Human is More than Human,” with Dorion Sagan
  • 2010 “Militarization of the Social,” with David Theo Goldberg
  • 2009 “Sex and Secularity,” with Michael Warner
  • 2007 “Civilizing Modern Practices,” with Isabelle Stengers
  • 2006 “Conversations,” with Henrika Kuklick
  • 2005 “The Post-Soviet Condition,” with Susan Buck-Morss
  • 2005 “Rethinking American Culture: The Social Warrant of Consumer Citizenship and Hostile Privatism,” with George Lipsitz
  • 2003 “Reading for a Living: Some Observations on the Differences Between Lay and Professional Reading,” with John Guillory
  • 2002 “Race, Power, and Social Justice,” with Gerald Torres
  • 2001 “Moral Passages: Making Bedfellows of Philosophers and Anthropologists,” with Kathryn Pyne Addelson
  • 2001 “Rethinking Sovereignty,” with Michael Hardt, Veena Das, Giorgio Agamben, and Margaret Lock