Annual AES Conference: "Exposure"

Thursday, March 30 to Saturday, April 1, 2017
Stanford University

Conference Theme

People seek out exposure at one moment and run from it the next. As a source of hope, exposure promises forward movement, growth, benefit, the idea that something better will come from positive attention. A contract, a job, a resolution. However, as a linchpin of vulnerability, exposure is a daunting beast, one which can trigger episodes of violence, racism, incarceration, shame, ruin, disease, and the like. Internet revelations that won’t go away. The outing of sexual orientation. Discovery of visa violations. There are dealmakers who profit off such painful forms of exposure, and there are professionals who make a livelihood managing them—politically, scientifically, ethically. The American Ethnological Society takes up exposure at its 2017 annual spring conference.

Welcoming anthropology and other scholarly disciplines, this conference encourages presentations that treat exposure as a ground for making sense of urgent issues in the world today, presentations that tackle exposure as either topic or method. Exposure has long been part of many a knowledge maker’s toolbox, and it is certainly indispensable today for whistleblowers, community activists, and investigative journalists who use exposure for their progressive projects of speaking truth to power. Over the years, no less now in the era of WikiLeaks, anthropologists have strived to mobilize methods of exposure for human enhancement, to illuminate otherwise unseen forces of domination with the hope of fostering new political potentials. AES’s 2017 conference asks, in different sociocultural contexts, how is exposure currently undergoing transformation, how is its normalization shifting with rapid changes in technology, how is exposure morphing in relationship to affective economies, how have anthropologists historically handled exposure, and what new work must be done in and outside of the academy in order to better understand as well as influence the shifting authority of this keyword in people’s lives?

AES17 will celebrate formats of exposition—tried or untested—holding out promise to conjure, visualize, and broadcast new reflections on exposure, its histories, processes, discourses, sentiments, and transformational effects.

Preliminary Program

Panels and roundtables (View Google Doc)

Schedule of Workshops, Plenaries, and Receptions

Thursday, March 30

Pre-conference Professionalization Workshops (FULL)

Workshop for Grad Students: How to publish your first major journal article?
Host: Niko Besnier, editor-in-chief of American Ethnologist

Workshop for Grad Students: How to transform your dissertation into a monograph?
Hosts: Michelle Lipinski, acquisitions editor, Stanford University Press; Reed Malcolm, acquisitions editor, University of California Press)

Conference Begins

Plenary talk by Didier Fassin

AES Reception

Student Mixer @ local Palo Alto bar (free shuttle provided)

Friday Evening, March 31

Plenary talk by Deborah Thomas (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Free shuttle to HanaHaus in downtown Palo Alto

Dinner Roundtable at HanaHaus (FULL)
Natalia Almada and her films in conversation with Anand Pandian (Johns Hopkins) and Angela Garcia (Stanford)

(Free dinner and cash-bar. Lots of time for socializing before, during, and after roundtable. Venue has a limited capacity, though, so sign up early for a spot via the conference registration system.)

Saturday Afternoon, April 1st

Plenary talk by Hugh Gusterson (George Washington Univ.)

Post-plenary reception
Last set of panels and roundtables

Conference concludes

AES Affirms AAA’s Call to “Be Present, Not Absent”

Read here: AES Board’s Statement on the importance of the American Ethnological Society assembling this spring


Two excellent housing options available, well below market-rates. Supplies are limited and the conference’s room blocks expire soon, so please book your room as early as possible.

Stanford Guesthouse (in stunning foothills)
$155/night for a room sleeping two people (tax free), includes the following free items: breakfast, 24-hour parking, wifi, and shuttle to campus. To reserve rooms, go to and click the “Check Availability” button. Once the window opens, enter your room needs and the Group Code: AETHNOSOC0317. Cutoff date for room block is earlier than Cardinal Hotel. Cutoff date is Feb. 7, 2017.

Cardinal Hotel (downtown Palo Alto)
As low as $119/night per room. Free wifi and shuttle to campus. Rates lower Friday and Saturday nights, higher Thursday night. To reserve rooms, go to (Group Code: AES2017 already pre-entered). Cutoff date for the conference’s room block is Feb. 28, 2017.

Registration at AAA

  1. Follow the link below to the American Anthropological Association’s Section Meeting Registration webpage:
  2. Find the listing for the “American Ethnological Society (AES) 2017 Spring Conference” and click on“Register.”
  3. You will be asked to either create an account or login with your existing AAA account to register. You do not need to become a member of the AAA or the AES to register for the conference.
  4. Confirm the registrant and badge information, and select our meeting next when asked to select the meeting (question #3).
  5. Select the registration type and any special events, such as the Saturday Banquet.
  6. Click “add to cart” at the bottom right and proceed to payment.
  7. You will receive two receipt emails from the AAA, not from us. The link to the submission portal is on the second email. Please be sure to check any spam or “clutter” folder on your email client for the email from the AAA.
  8. If you have any difficulties in creating or logging into your existing AAA account or in registering for the conference, please contact the AAA directly ( for assistance.

Questions? Contact conference organizer and AES Councilor Matthew Kohrman at aesconf2017[at]gmail[dot]com.

AES Statement on Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

Read here: American Ethnological Society Statement on President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

Helpful Tips for Preparing your Proposals

Possible Panel Formats.
AES welcomes experimental formats of exposition. Though, in order to facilitate scheduling of rooms, the program committee will prefer panel submissions that fall into increments of 1 hour and 45 minutes. Double panels are possible. No need to organize panels with an intention that each presenter has an allocation of exactly 15 minutes. More time, less time per participant would be fine. For those organizing a panel along conventional lines, the delivery of at least three papers is encouraged; more of course is welcomed. The presence of formal discussant/s on your panel is not required, but certainly encouraged.

Help Finding People for Your Panel.
If you are short one or two people for your panel proposal, AES can help you circulate a CFP via our media channels (e.g., Facebook page, listserv) to recruit participants. Please contact us well before the Jan 20th deadline at aesconf2017[at]gmail[dot]com.

Individual Paper Proposal.
If you don’t have anyone else recruited for a panel but have a strong idea in mind, consider submitting a proposal for an individual paper. Accepted individual proposals will be grouped into panels by the AES program committee.

Pre-circulation of Papers.
If you’d like us to pre-circulate papers, please let us know at least one month before the conference, and we’ll upload your paper/s to a conference cloud folder and provide links to that folder in the conference program.

Roundtables and Abstracts.
Reminder: the AAA registration system does not require each individual participating in a roundtable to submit an abstract

Note: AES17’s call for proposals ended on January 20, 2017. We are no longer accepting any new proposals. Thank you.

Return to Page Return and Refresh