AES 2018: Resemblance

March 22-24, 2018
Philadelphia, PA


Update to Submission Guidelines

(and how to make sense of the CFP portal):

  1. The submission process is different from AAA. For this conference, you can either:
    a. Submit a whole session using the “Panel” tab. Your submission should include: A session title; a session abstract (up to 500 words) and individual paper abstracts (up to 250 words); and panel participant names (listed in order, including discussant). If you submit individual papers, the portal will not link them up to a panel. Please resubmit panels in their entirety if you submitted them as individual papers by editing your submission – organizers should submit one panel and those who submitted their papers individually should remove them (we are deeply sorry for the inconvenience!).
    b. Submit an individual paper/ presentation using the “Paper” tab. If accepted, it will be included in a session at the conference organizers’ discretion.

  2. Each session is 105 minutes long (1 hour and 45 minutes). Unlike AAA, presenters will not be scheduled into 15 minute slots in the conference program. Individual presentation length is generally 15 minutes, but can be a bit longer or shorter depending on the number of participants. Sessions with less than 5 participants may be asked to accept an additional individual presenter.

Submission Guidelines for AES/SVA 2018 Spring Meeting

Graduate (and undergraduate) students! We have a deal for you. AES membership is free if you sign up between now and March 31, 2018. This would normally be $18, but it’s free for a whole year. It also will get you a $5 discount on the AES/SVA spring meeting registration because you can register for at student “member" rate ($40) rather than the student "non-member" rate ($45). To access this deal, do the following: (1) Become an AES member. Enter the code AESSS18 (there are 3 Ss in the code) at the checkout on the join/renew form. (2) Then register for the AES-SVA 2018 spring conference here at the subsidized student member rate. (3) If you are giving a paper, you can then submit an abstract via the CFP portal.

  1. All proposals must be submitted by January 10, 2018, 5pm EST.
  2. All participants must be registered in order for their submission to be reviewed by the conference committee. [click here to register]
  3. If your proposal is not accepted, you may request a registration fee refund.
  4. Participants are permitted to be a presenter (on a panel, roundtable, or individual exhibit) and/or serve as a discussant once during the conference. Participants may serve as chair or organizer multiple times.
  5. Please indicate your A/V needs at time of submission.
  6. We encourage the use of audiovisual materials or other multimodal presentations for the conference. Please consider whether to do so as part of a SESSION, as an INDIVIDUAL EXHIBIT, or a FILM/ LONG FORM PRESENTATION.
           a. SESSIONS: Papers, Panels, and Roundtables: All sessions will be 105 minutes in length. Presentations of individual papers are welcome. Submit proposals for Panel sessions (500 word abstract plus participant abstracts), proposals for individual Papers (250 word abstract), or Roundtables (750 word abstract). If you plan on using media or multimodal forms to supplement or stand for a traditional paper presentation of 15 minutes or less, please submit these presentations through the regular submission portal with an abstract indicating the type of media you intend to utilize.
           b. INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITS: Posters & Multimodal Presentations: Posters and multimodal installations (individual exhibits) are very welcome. The AES-SVA conference will set aside a period specifically for individual exhibits, during which all presenters are expected to be at their exhibit and conference attendees are strongly encouraged to view them and interact with the presenters. Exhibits will remain in this area throughout the conference. Poster proposals should take the form of a 250 word abstract, which may also include images. Multimodal installation proposals must include a description of the various types of data to be presented, and the equipment requirements for the installation. Installation proposals should take the form of a 500 word abstract, including a description of the content of the installation, its argument, and the types of data to be included.
           c. FILM & LONG FORM PRESENTATIONS: If you would like to submit film or other type of multimodal presentation that is longer than 15 minutes or that would not be suitable for a traditional panel, choose “film.” All submissions require an abstract that details the project and any type of media and/or equipment that would be required to display your work.

Theme: Resemblance

In an era of "fake news" and "alt" political movements, what counts as meaning making? How can we understand epistemology in an era of madness? The issue of resemblance is as much a pressing social question as it is an academic preoccupation. The American Ethnological Society and the Society for Visual Anthropology explore the theme of resemblance at their 2018 joint spring conference. Welcoming anthropologists, artists, media makers, and community members to Philadelphia during March 22-24, the meeting will provide an opportunity to revisit and explore anew what we believe is knowable as anthropologists and the ways we may wish to rethink our priorities and approaches in our era of heightened violence, strife, surveillance, and policing.

Resemblance is at the very heart of anthropology, as its practitioners have sought to demonstrate the commonalities of all people. While resemblance relies upon recognition and likening, it is also a means of comparison to what one perceives and believes they already know. The conference organizers invite proposals for panels consisting of papers or multimodal presentations, as well as individual submissions that theoretically, methodologically, visually, or otherwise examine the conference theme. We welcome graduate students to present their work in its early stages and to network with more establish practitioners. The conference will feature exhibitions, speakers, films, performances, as well as a town hall discussion about how our field can wield greater influence in public struggles of resemblance.

Special Events

Please join us for the following keynotes. Watch here for listings of more special events!

Elizabeth Chin, Art Center College of Design
“The Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology: Design Prototypes for Different Tomorrows.”

Sherry Ortner, UC Los Angeles
“The Expanded Anthropological Toolkit: Ethnography, History, and Public Culture.”

Kamala Visweswaran, UC San Diego
“Ethnography and the Algorithmic Turn.”

AES-SVA 2018 Preconference Workshops

Workshops require preregistration and a $20 deposit each, which will be refunded upon your confirmed attendance.

How to publish your first major journal article
American Ethnologist editor Niko Besnier illustrates the article manuscript publication process.

How to transform your dissertation into a monograph
Acquisition editors Fred Appel (Princeton University Press) and Jennifer Hammer (NYU Press) share insights on book manuscript review and publishing.

Multimodal Ethnography: Practice & Professionalization
Editors of the American Anthropologist newly branded multimodal section discuss emerging multimodal works in anthropology.


Registration is available for AES and SVA's 2018 Joint Spring Conference, Resemblance, which will be held at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square Hotel, March 22-24, 2018. Register Now to receive your CFP link.

Call for Abstracts

AES and SVA are accepting abstracts for this meeting. The submission deadline is Friday, January 19, 2018, and you must be registered for the conference for your submission to be considered.

Hotel Reservations

Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square Hotel
1800 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Reserve your room by calling 1.800.766.3782 or booking online through our special reservation link. The deadline for making room reservations at the special AAA rate of $169 S/D/T is Thursday, March 1, 2018. When making reservations by phone, please mention that you are with the AES Meeting. The block of rooms is limited, and rooms might sell out before the deadline. To ensure availability at the group rate, please make your reservations as soon as possible.


For questions about annual conference logistics or submitting your abstract, please contact the AES/SVA Program Committee at

For questions about registration, please contact the AAA Meetings Department at

For registration assistance requests, please contact AAA within business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 9 am until 5 pm EDT.