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DDHR/SAS Conference 2020

The 4th Biennial Conference in Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights (DDHR) and the 54th Annual Meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society (SAS) is a joint conference organized by the DDHR Program in partnership with SAS.
April 3-5, 2020
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
You have two options for registering:
  1. Join the Southern Anthropological Society at a discounted rate.
  2. Register with DDHR. [Registration open until February 15th, 2020]
We encourage registrants to consider the benefits of joining SAS. These include:
  • Special discounted membership and conference registration rate, available exclusively for this event
  • Access to a professional network of anthropologists in the southern US region that can support research collaboration, job placement, and professional mentorship
  • Access to SAS publications, publishing opportunities and conference proceedings
  • Exclusive access to special workshops at the 2020 joint conference: applying to graduate school, the post-graduate job search, and mentoring students. Workshops are free but require advance registration on the SAS registration page.
  • Eligibility for SAS awards, including:
    • Undergraduate Student paper presentation prize: $200 (awarded at Saturday Social)
    • Graduate Student paper presentation prize: $200 (awarded at Saturday Social)
    • Student poster prize (awarded at Saturday Social)
    • Mooney Prize (book award, professionals only)

Call for papers:

Intersections are a defining point of the human condition. The social constructs and material realities of race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and class frame the human experience from the everyday mundane to the highest levels of institutional and structural hierarchies. Intersections within the context of disasters, displacement, and human rights are crucial variables of analysis studied by a multitude of disciplines and can define both research methods and applications. Intersections can subvert race and gender binaries, and expose the underlying nuances of structural violence, post-disaster relief efforts, identity politics, rights-claiming, and legacies of exclusion of marginalized groups. A focus on intersections highlights the ways underlying vectors of identity formation and their material groundings both connect and divide communities, as well as support and deconstruct prevailing social structures. Similarly, the concept of intersections draws attention to the possibilities (and limitations) inherent in multidisciplinary research and in the relationships between research and practice, science and activism, and local and global, in the past and present.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Disasters Displacement and Human Rights (DDHR) Program issues a call for papers for its fourth biennial conference, organized in conjunction with the Southern Anthropological Society’s 54th annual meeting. Proposals for posters, papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops from all subfields of anthropology, and from related disciplines, are welcome.

Submissions that broadly address the theme of “Intersections” according to the above CFP are encouraged, with emphasis on the following topics or foci:

  • Race, racism, racial triangulation, and biracial and multiracial issues

  • Transnational identities, migration, immigration

  • Trafficking and other extralegal mobilities

  • Gender, sex, sexuality

  • Political economy and inequality in disaster relief

  • Indigeneity and DNA

  • Food security, hunger, and nutrition

  • Forensic science and human rights

  • Disaster victim identification and recovery

  • Biological and social profiles of race and gender

  • The social life of DNA and other biological materials

  • Race, class, and gender in the archaeological record

  • Climate change and its social and biological entailments

  • Multispecies approaches to research and advocacy

  • Humanitarian and human rights law

  • Natural resources and sustainable development

  • Migration, detention, and deportation

  • Peace and conflict

  • Transitional justice and alternative models

  • Natural and anthropogenic disasters

  • Refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people

  • Decolonizing indigenous histories

  • Policy, politics, and international relations

  • Field methods and human identification

Think you might want to present a paper, poster or organize a panel or roundtable? Register now!


Coming soon

2020 DDHR/SAS Conference Accommodations


Volunteer Hotel

Address: 1706 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37916, USA

Phone: (865) 437 5500

Parking: $10 per day

25 Rooms Available: 10 Single Rooms (King Bed) $119/night and 15 Double Rooms (Queen) $129/night

Reserve by: 3/11/2020

To Reserve: You may call to make reservations under the DDHR/SAS Conference or reserve through this link.

Check in: April 1st after 3:00 PM

Check out: April 6th before 12:00 PM


The Cumberland House Hotel

Address: 1109 White Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee, 37916 United States

Phone: (865) 971 4663

Parking: $10 per day

25 Rooms Available: 10 Single Rooms (King bed) $105/night and 15 Double Rooms (Queen bed) $105/night

Reserve by: 3/11/2020 by 5:00PM. Hotel will honor group rate as long as rooms remain available after the cut-off date.

To Reserve: Call (865) 971-4663 or (800) 228-9290 and refer to “DDHR/SAS Conference” block.

Guests may cancel reservation without penalty up 24 hours before reservation date and with a penalty within 24 hours of reservation.

Check in: April 1st

Check out: April 6th


Hampton Inn & Suites Knoxville-Downtown

Address: 618 West Main Street, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37902, USA

Phone: (865) 522-5400

Parking: $10 per day

25 Rooms Available: 10 Single Rooms (King bed) $142/night and 15 Double Rooms (Queen bed) $142/night (plus tax)

Breakfast included

Reserve by: March 11, 2020 at 4PM

To Reserve: You may call and ask for a room in the DDHR/SAS Conference block or reserve through this link.

Cancellations made before March 25th, 2020 will not require a fee of the full room’s stay.

Check in: April 1st

Check out: April 6th


Other Accomodation Options:

If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, and you are interested in housing with a UTK graduate student, please contact Mary Ruth Wossum-Fisher at

Faye V. Harrison:

Beyond the “Negative Moment”: Anthropologists Respond to Achille Mbembe’s & Toni Morrison’s Call for New Directions in “Times of Dread.” 


Faye V. Harrison is Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She has affiliations there with the African Studies, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Women & Gender in Global Perspective.  She is a sociocultural anthropologist and African diaspora scholar interested in the politics and political economy of social inequalities, human rights, and intersections among race, gender, class, & (trans)national belonging. Over the past three decades, her research has addressed concerns that span from the neoliberal restructuring of governance and development in the Caribbean to the varieties of racialization and their assemblages of gendered meanings and practices in different parts of the world.  She has also done work on the history and politics of anthropology focusing on the peripheralization of minoritized and global-south epistemologies. Recent writings examine domestic and international divisions of intellectual labor and innovative modalities of social analysis and theory in non-hegemonic and ex-centric sites.

Her publications include Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age; Resisting Racism and Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Gender, Race, and Human Rights; and three editions of Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further toward an Anthropology of Liberation. She has received several awards, including the Southern Anthropological Society’s 2007 Zora Neale Hurston Award for Mentoring, Service & Scholarship.  Last year she received a Presidential Award from the American Anthropological Association for her contributions to the global unification of anthropology during her five-year term as President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (2013-18).


Alisse Waterston:

Light in Dark Times: Means and Methods for Healing A Wounded World


Alisse Waterston is Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology and Interim Chair, City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is author of numerous articles and six books including the award winning My Father’s Wars: Migration, Memory and the Violence of a Century (Routledge: 2014). Professor Waterston was named International Scholar of the Open Society Institute affiliated with Tbilisi State University, and received an honorary doctorate from Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is co-editor with Maia Barkaia of Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation and History in the South Caucasus (Berghahn Books 2017).

Professor Waterston served as President of the American Anthropological Association (2015-2017). She was editor of North American Dialogue and founding editor of Open Anthropology. She is currently working with artist-anthropologist Charlotte Hollands in developing a graphic nonfiction book based on her 2017 AAA Presidential Address. Her most recent article is published open access in American Ethnologist titled “Intimate Ethnography and the Anthropological Imagination: Dialectical Aspects of the Personal and Political in My Father’s Wars.”

Coming soon