Symposia topics are determined by the Wenner-Gren Academic Advisory Council twice a year at the Foundation’s Board meetings in May and November. A proposal must reach the Foundation by April 1 to be considered at the May Board meeting and by October 1 to be considered at the November Board meeting. Note that symposia topics are determined ~18 months before the date of the symposium.
Proposals from the field will be considered together with topics suggested by the Advisory Council. Proposers will be notified of the decision within two months of the submission deadline (by June 1 for the April 1 deadline and December 1 for the October 1 deadline).
- Symposia must address “big” questions in anthropology. Applicants should make a strong case for the importance of their topic in relation to major theoretical or methodological interventions in current issues within anthropology.
- Symposia should show the relevance of basic research in anthropology to analyzing the human condition, past and/or present.
- Applicants should justify why it is important to address the proposed topic at this particular point in time. The Foundation is looking for cutting-edge topics that have a clearly argued potential for moving the field forward.
- The objectives of the symposium should be to coalesce and advance knowledge on the issue, to present and address divergent viewpoints, and to mark out directions for future research.
- There is no preference given to topics that span the four fields or engage with one sub-discipline rather than another. The primary criterion is the intellectual importance of the topic.
- Multidisciplinary symposia must clearly demonstrate relevance to big questions in anthropological theory and debate. Proposals that aim to introduce anthropological perspectives to other disciplines will not be competitive.
- The symposium must advance the Foundation’s goal of fostering an international community of anthropologists by drawing participants from around the world.