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DDHR/SAS Conference 2020


*Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, public health risks, and associated restrictions on travel, the DDHR-SAS Joint Conference, April 3-5, 2020 is canceled. The 4th Biennial DDHR Conference is postponed to Spring 2021 (date TBA) and the SAS Annual Meeting will be held in Raleigh, NC, April 8-10, 2021. Please click here for more information*

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 deadline extended: Monday, February 24th, 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!


Intersections: Adversity, Identity, Perspectives

54th Annual Conference, Southern Anthropological Society and Fourth Biennial Conference on Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights (DDHR)

April 3-5, 2020

*The full conference program will be posted by March 15.


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.”

Intersections: Adversity, Identity, Perspectives

54th Annual Conference, Southern Anthropological Society and Fourth Biennial Conference on Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights (DDHR)
April 3-5, 2020



A lineup of invited semi-plenary panels highlighting key themes and speakers


Saturday, April 4th

Borders and Walls

Featuring Heath Cabot (U Pittsburgh), Robin Reineke (U Arizona), Michael Vicente Perez (U Memphis), Georgina Ramsay (U Delaware), and Hera Jay Brown (Fulbright-Schuman and Rhodes Scholars)


Repatriation and Sacred Sites

Featuring Dorothy Lippert (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Tribal Liaison, Repatriation Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History), Miranda Panther (NAGPRA Officer, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Corrina Gould (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone), and Wendy Teeter (UCLA NAGPRA Coordinator)


Sunday, April 5th

Race, Class, Gender, and Capitalism in Disaster Contexts

Featuring Rev. James Caldwell (Coalition of Community Organizations, Houston TX)


Forensic Humanitarian Action

Featuring Oran Finegan (International Committee of the Red Cross),

Tom Parsons (International Commission on Missing Persons), and Fredy Peccerelli (Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation)

Speaker Bios


Hera Jay Brown

Hera Jay Brown is a 2019-2020 Fulbright-Schuman Student Research Fellow to Malta, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Belgium and will spend the academic year investigating the class-based distinctions of naturalization processes and bureaucracies across the European Union. Hera Jay’s Fulbright work centers on citizenship-by-investment schemes, the citizenship-by-performance nexus for refugees, and the ways that capital/class engender different naturalization pathways and one’s role in the public commons. During her undergraduate training at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), Hera Jay conducted original fieldwork at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s King Hussein Bin Talal Development Area (KHBTDA), a special economic zone aiming to regularize Syrian refugee labor alongside Jordanian nationals. Her work detailed the lived experiences of Syrian refugee and Jordanian national workers within a specific factory and the labor and human rights shortcomings evident for refugees at the site. Recently, Hera Jay was named a 2020 Rhodes Scholar. She is UTK’s 9th Rhodes Scholar and the first openly Trans woman elected to the scholarship in its 117-year history. At Oxford University, Hera will pursue an M.Phil. in Development Studies and a Doctorate in International Development with the hope of returning to Jordan for continued fieldwork. Hera Jay graduated from UTK and the DDHR program in 2018. 



Heath Cabot

Heath Cabot is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a political and legal anthropologist whose research examines citizenship, ethics, and rights in Europe, with a focus on Greece. She is the author of On the Doorstep of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece (Penn Press 2014), and her current work examines community based healthcare and changing meanings of citizenship in Greece under austerity.




Oran Finegan

Oran Finegan is the Head of Forensics for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Based in Geneva, he oversees their global forensic strategy with an emphasis on furthering the area of Humanitarian Forensic Action, underlining the importance of the dead as a category of victims, and supporting efforts to strengthen institutions response to the issue of the Missing. He oversees a team of over 90 forensic specialists globally.

Through his studies Oran has obtained a degree in Anatomy, a Master’s degree in Forensic Anthropology, and a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Political Theory. He worked as a forensic anthropologist with the United Nations International Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Balkans (1998 and 2001), and with the UN Office on Missing Persons and Forensics in Kosovo (2002 and 2006). He also worked for two years with the UN Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, helping coordinate their forensic laboratory.

Oran joined the ICRC in 2008. During the past ten years he has worked as Regional Forensic Advisor for the Western Balkans (2008-11), Forensic Advisor for Iraq (2012-13, and most recently as Deputy Head of Forensics (2013-17). He took over as Head of Forensics in April 2017.



Corrina Gould

Corrina Gould (Lisjan Ohlone) is the chair and spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan — she was born and raised in Oakland, CA, the village of Huichin. A mother of three and grandmother of four, Corrina is the Co-Founder and Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run organization that works on Indigenous people issues and sponsored annual Shellmound Peace Walks from 2005 to 2009. These walks brought about education and awareness of the desecration of sacred sites in the greater Bay Area. As a tribal leader, she has continued to fight for the protection of the Shellmounds, uphold her nations inherit right to sovereignty, and stand in solidarity with her Indigenous relatives to protect our sacred waters, mountains, and lands all over the world. Her life’s work has led to the creation of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, a women-led organization within the urban setting of her ancestral territory of the Bay Area. Sogorea Te’ Land Trust works to return Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Based on an understanding that Oakland is home to many peoples that have been oppressed and marginalized, Sogorea Te works to create a thriving community that lives in relationship on the land. Through the practices of rematriation, cultural revitalization, and land restoration, the Land Trust calls on native and non-native peoples to heal and transform legacies of colonization, genocide, and to do the work our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do. 



Miranda Panther

Miranda Panther is the NAGPRA Officer for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office (EBCI THPO). She has worked for the EBCI for almost eleven years. Miranda has lived on the Qualla Boundary located in Cherokee, NC most of her life. She earned her B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University in 2002.

Through her duties at the THPO office, Miranda regularly participates in NAGPRA consultations with museums, universities, and federal agencies. She has organized and arranged over one hundred reburial projects to be completed throughout the eight southeastern states that are aboriginal to the Cherokee. These projects total between 2000-3000 sets of remains reburied, and approximately 100,000 funerary objects reburied as well. Miranda is dedicated and passionate about her work, and believes that NAGPRA related issues should be a top priority not just for tribes, but for everyone. 



Tom Parsons

Thomas J. Parsons is the Director of Science and Technology at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).  He supervises a large technical staff in a multidisciplinary approach to location and identification of the missing through imagery, forensic archaeology, anthropology, pathology, bioinformatics and high throughput DNA analysis. Current development at the ICMP laboratory focuses on optimal massively parallel sequencing approaches to missing persons DNA identification. The ICMP has assisted with the DNA-based identification of nearly 20,000 persons, and works on missing persons cases globally.  Dr. Parsons has coordinated provision of extensive DNA and other forensic science evidence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugosolavia (ICTY) and other courts, and testified on multiple occasions for the ICTY in The Hague.  Prior to joining the ICMP, Dr. Parsons worked at the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) since August of 1994, and held the position of AFDIL Chief Scientist since 2000.  For two years after the 9/11 attacks he served on a seminal National Institute of Justice advisory panel for the World Trade Center DNA identification efforts.  His undergraduate degree was in Physics from the University of Chicago, and he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1989.  As a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, he focused on ancient DNA, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, as well as mtDNA biogeography and avian speciation. He received the 2015 biennial Scientific Prize from the International Society of Forensic Genetics.



Fredy Peccerelli

Fredy Peccerelli, B.A., has dedicated his life to upholding human rights and dignity through the application of forensic sciences since his return to Guatemala in 1995. He studied Physical Anthropology and Osteology in Brooklyn College, New York City University, and he studied an MSc in Forensic & Biological Anthropology at Bournemouth University, England. Peccerelli is an internationally renowned and recognized Forensic Anthropologist and Human Identification expert, and founding member of the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG, Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala) and founding board member of Friends of FAFG, INC. Today, as FAFG’s Executive Director, he leads the development and implementation of a Multidisciplinary Human Identification System that applies victim investigation, forensic- archaeology, -anthropology, and -genetics to uncover the identity of victims of mass human rights abuses, and the truth behind their disappearance. Applied in over 1,800 cases throughout the country, this System supports the search for and identification of victims from Guatemala’s internal armed conflict (1960 – 1996). FAFG is the sole organization the family members trust to search for their loved ones, and these trusting relationships now reach internationally as FAFG is sought after in other post-conflict countries. Working within and supporting the Public Ministry (Ministerio Publicos, MP) in Guatemala, they use the evidence uncovered by the FAFG to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes against humanity from the conflict, therefore they are often called upon to testify and present expert reports in emblematic cases in the Guatemalan judicial system. To name a few, Mr. Peccerelli has testified as expert witness in the 2013 Genocide case against Ríos Montt in Guatemalan National Court, expert witness in the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

The work of the FAFG, led by Peccerelli, has reached a pivotal moment in the organization’s history. Beyond strengthening transitional justice in Guatemala, Peccerelli instigated and fostered a relationship with the USC Shoah Foundation to support innovative educational possibilities to combat intolerance and hatred. To date, the FAFG has collected over 600 Life History interviews from survivors and eyewitnesses from the Guatemalan conflict. These testimonies are included in the USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Education System, and will amplify the voices of Guatemalan’s lived experiences through conflict, akin to testimonies from survivors from the Holocaust. 

In recognition of his expertise and decades of dedication to applying forensic sciences to the search for the disappeared, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and an Honorary Doctorate of Sciences (DSc) from Queen’s University. Some of his international recognitions include Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater Brooklyn College in 2017, the Queen’s University 2015 Chancellor Dunning Trust Lecturer, presented Special Honors Medal from the Canadian Governor General David Johnston, Award for Human Rights Activist presented by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) and the Puffin Foundation, 2008 Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Science award, first recipient of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Human Rights Award, as well as recognized as Time Magazine and CNN’s 50 Latin American Leaders for the New Millennium.



Michael Vicente Perez

Dr. Pérez has conducted research among Palestinian refugees in Jordan since 2006. His research focus concerns questions of citizenship, human rights, nationalism, and statelessness. He is currently working on new research among Muslim communities of Chile and Argentina.







Georgina Ramsay

Georgina Ramsay is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Delaware and an Honorary Lecturer of Anthropology at Macquarie University. Her work focuses on displacement, broadly conceived, and related issues of sovereignty, political economy, insecurity. She has worked with refugees in Australia and Uganda, displaced people in the DR Congo, and people who are homeless in the United States. Her book, Impossible Refuge: The Control and Constraint of Refugee Futures, was published in 2017. 




Robin Reineke

Robin C. Reineke, PhD is Assistant Research Social Scientist in Anthropology at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. Her research centers on the social processes of forensic human identification and disappearance in the southern Arizona borderlands. Early on in her research for this project, Reineke identified an unmet need for thousands of families of missing migrants—they could not easily report a missing loved one on the border, and hence, data that could identify the dead was not making it to forensic scientists. This compelled her to found the Missing Migrant Project in 2006, and then co-found the Colibrí Center for Human Rights in 2013. Colibrí is a nonprofit family advocacy organization working to end death and suffering on the US-Mexico border by working closely with both forensic scientists and families of the missing. Reineke’s professional story is one of working at the boundaries—between the U.S., and Mexico, between the disciplines of cultural anthropology and forensic anthropology, and between the academic and nonprofit sectors. From Seattle, Washington, Reineke received a BA in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her work has been featured in the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Nation, and the documentary film, Who Is Dayani Cristal?  She was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies’ Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award and Echoing Green’s Global Fellowship in 2014.



Wendy Giddens Teeter, PhD, RPA

Dr. Wendy G Teeter is the Curator of Archaeology for the Fowler Museum, UCLA NAGPRA Coordinator, and teaches periodically in UCLA American Indian Studies. She is a member of the UC President’s Native American Advisory Council. Teeter collaborates nationally and internationally with Indigenous communities on issues of repatriation and cultural heritage protection. She is Co-PI for Mapping  Indigenous Los Angeles, a community-based website devoted to storytelling through cultural geography and map making as well as providing educational resources and curriculum and for Carrying our Ancestors Home, which tells the history of repatriation at UCLA and stories of repatriation from Indigenous communities. Since 2007, Teeter has been co-director of the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Project, which seeks to understand the Indigenous history of the island and Tongva homelands through multi-disciplinary and collaborative methodologies. The Project provides a field school that has educated over 150 students on the importance of community-based archaeology.  Teeter helped to develop the Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange Program in the Native Nations Law & Policy Center, UCLA School of Law in 2003 and serves as on its Advisory Board. In June 2011 she co-curated, “Launching A Dream: Reviving Tongva Maritime Traditions,” at the Fowler Museum at UCLA with Cindi Alvitre (Director, Ti’at Society). She serves on several boards and committees including as Chair of the Society for California Archaeology Curation Committee and Editorial Board Member, Heritage & Society Journal.