Anthropology Section Call for Papers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Sources: Allysha Winburn, PhD, and  Krista Latham, PhD, Section Program Co-Chairs

The Anthropology Section Program Committee is pleased to call for paper, workshop, and symposium submissions for the upcoming 2021 AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston, TX. We would also like to invite those interested in serving as abstract reviewers or session moderators to email us to be added to the list; please specify which role(s) you are interested in filling. Reviewers are typically section Members or Fellows, but we encourage participation from moderators at all levels of experience/membership.

Please recall that the preliminary deadline for abstract submission is August 1 but may change due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Abstract and workshop-proposal submissions will follow Academy requirements (  The scoring rubric used by all Anthropology Section reviewers is published as a public document on our section page of the Academy website (

Based on your responses to our recent post-meeting survey, we have instituted symposium submission guidelines for the 2021 annual meeting (see below).

Thank you! We look forward to reading your submissions.


Proposals for symposia should be submitted directly to the Program Chair via e-mail no later than June 1. As there is currently no mechanism at the AAFS to have poster symposia, symposium proposals serve as a curation of podium presentations overseen by moderators and potentially with a discussion at the end.  The symposium proposal should contain the following information:

  1. Title of the symposium
  2. Organizer/submitter’s e-mail address and affiliation, and the names and affiliations of any co-organizers
  3. Full names of two session moderators
  4. A short abstract (250 word maximum) describing the content and purpose of the symposium. This paragraph will not be published in the AAFS proceedings, but it is helpful to reviewers to understand the goals and vision of the symposium.
  5. Full names (spell out first names) and affiliations of the symposium participants, and the titles of their presentations. Number each presentation and list all titles and authors in the order of appearance.
  6. A statement of 200 words or less, briefly describing the diversity of session presenters, such as how they offer a balanced representation of the topic, institutional affiliation, career stage, ethnicity, and gender.

Use the following format for symposium participants:

Presentation 1:            Title. Author1 last name, full first name, (Affiliation); Author2 as for Author1; etc.

Presentations 2 – n:     as for Presentation 1

Discussant:                  last name, first name spelled out (Affiliation)

For example:

Presentation 1:            A history of biological distance analysis. Hefner, Joseph T. (Michigan State University) and Pilloud, Marin A (University of Nevada, Reno)

Presentation 2:            Biological distances and population genetics theory. Relethford, John (State University of New York  College Oneonta)

Presentation 3:            The effects of imputing missing data on biodistance analyses. Kenyhercz, Michael (University of  Alaska, Fairbanks) and Passalacqua, Nicholas V. (Central Identification Laboratory)

Presentations 4-9:         as above

Discussant:                   Buikstra, Jane E. (Arizona State University)

Do not
submit abstracts, registration materials, or fees at the time the symposium proposal is submitted. Symposia and abstracts (as part of symposia) are subject to review. Symposium organizers need to make clear to participants that their abstract can still be rejected at the abstract review stage.

Each year, the program committee will accept a MAXIMUM of four (4) symposium proposals as part of the scientific session. All symposia can have a MAXIMUM of eight (8) presentations. If organizers wish to have a discussant, the discussant will use one of the presentation time slots. All discussants are limited to 15 minutes.



The program committee (chair and co-chair) as well as one anonymous peer reviewer will review and rank submitted symposia. The following criteria will be considered:

  1. Organization of symposium
  2. Cohesiveness of the topic and suggested authors/presentations
  3. Diversity of presenters

The symposium organizer will be notified of the committee’s decision by 1 July.



If the proposal is accepted, symposium abstracts are due August 1 along with other abstracts. On August 2, the symposium organizer needs to send the program chair an updated list of submitted presentations with any revisions to titles and/or authors indicated. This list also needs to include the name of the SUBMITTING author of the abstract. In this way, the program chair can ensure that these abstracts are properly located, reviewed, and assigned to the appropriate session during planning.

Remember, acceptance of the symposium does not guarantee acceptance of the individual abstracts; these abstracts are subject to the same review and submission deadlines as are all other abstracts. We therefore encourage symposium organizers to stay in close contact with contributors and to review abstracts prior to submission. This communication will ensure that abstracts fit the symposium and that they are not rejected. It is the organizer’s responsibility to ensure that all abstracts are submitted by the deadline of August 1, as this is a hard deadline and late abstracts will not be considered.

Further, please note that speakers in any accepted symposia are required to register and pay a basic registration fee after notifications are received. Symposium organizers should make any invited speakers aware of this registration requirement when soliciting speakers for the AAFS scientific sessions.