Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) 2014 Call for Papers:Risk and Disaster

Last March at the SfAA meeting in Denver, Colorado, in conjunction with Anthony Oliver-Smith winning the Malinowski Award, several of us invited all manner of disaster researchers from many disciplines to join us in the hope of establishing major presence in disaster studies within the SfAA.

The response was overwhelming. We organized 103 presentations in twenty-two sessions and put on a number of round tables on particular calamities and topics.

So great was the response, we were able to establish a Topical Interest Group (TIG) on Risk and Disasters within the SfAA. As a consequence, we have an ongoing section within the society devoted to our concerns. As well as providing a venue for numerous presentations on the subject at the annual meeting, the TIG gives us the potential to arrange special meetings on disaster issues and can lead to possible publications. It provides us a face-to-face place to connect with one another. We will be having our first meeting at the 2014 meeting of the SfAA in Albuquerque.

We also established a Google Groups email list for any and all notifications (see below). Through this email list and the meetings, we can be inspired to new ideas and move forward the development of insight, analysis, and theory. We can share the valuable data of case studies. We can open more avenues for research grants and programs. Hopefully, from such a position, we can affect policy and practice.

This is a personal appeal from me to please DO NOT LET OUR PLACE IN THE SfAA dwindle.

Please submit a panel topic or individual paper idea on any aspect of disaster studies to us and the SfAA for presentation in ALBUQUERQUE NEXT MARCH no matter what your discipline. The SfAA is interdisciplinary. The theme for the 2104 meeting is Destinations, including place, purpose, goal, idea, or realization. This theme is one with which our work in risk and disasters will particularly resonate.

So far the response for disaster papers has not been what we hoped. If you cannot put together a panel on your topic, or at least submit an individual paper abstract, those of us working of the disaster theme will form the sessions.

Importantly, the deadline for submission of panel and paper abstracts to SfAA has been extended to October 30.

That gives all of us time to step up to the plate. Anthony Oliver-Smith, for example, is chairing a session of climate change and disaster. Please join him, me, and others and come to Albuquerque! Please present!

You can send ideas and abstracts to AJ Faas (, who is working on organizing disaster sessions and papers on behalf of the Risk and Disasters TIG. However, to be official, all abstracts and panels must be registered through the SfAA web site,

To join the new disaster studies Google list go to: If not already a member, you will see a blue button on the top that says “join group to post.” One click and you’re in. If already a member, just log in.

Some panel topics already in development are:

·         Climate Change and Disaster

·         Disasters and Women’s Health & Hygiene Understanding Vulnerability –

·         Building Resilience Bringing the Response Back In: A Place for

·         Disaster Response in the Anthropology of Disasters Navigating

·         Landscapes of Disaster

 Dr. Susanna M. Hoffman


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