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Wenner-Gren Symposia

Burg Wartenstein Castle
Burg Wartenstein Castle in Austria, site of the Wenner-Gren Foundation's European Conference Center from 1958 to 1980.
Wenner-Gren Symposia are week-long workshops that involve a small group of invited scholars who meet for intensive discussion and debate. Symposia are administered and fully supported (both financially and logistically) by the Foundation.

Symposia are based on a format that was developed and refined at Burg Wartenstein castle, the Foundation’s European conference center (1958-1980). The Foundation no longer owns Burg Wartenstein but modern symposia follow the same model. (Click here for information on the format of the Symposia.) They are held at venues in the US and abroad that allow for an intimate meeting in a congenial environment with minimal distraction. (Click here for the history of the Symposium program and information on past symposia.)

The Foundation sponsors two symposia per year and the symposium papers are published in an open access supplementary issue of the Foundation’s journal, Current Anthropology. (Click here for more on Symposium publications.)

The Foundation is interested in sponsoring symposia that address “big” questions in anthropology. Topics are initiated by the Foundation on the basis of the importance and timeliness of the topic, the promise of meaningful exchange among scholars representing diverse perspectives and fields, and the potential for opening up new approaches to significant problems.

Symposia are partnerships between the Foundation and the academic organizers. The Foundation works closely with the organizers to further develop the objectives of the symposium, identify specific topics, and make final decisions on the participants.

Suggestions for future symposia topics are welcome.  For information on the format and how to propose a topic for consideration, please refer to the links below.