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How to Propose a Symposium

Proposals for symposia should be sent via e-mail to Laurie Obbink, the Foundation's Conference Associate ( by April 1 for consideration at the Foundation's May Board meeting or by October 1 for consideration at the November Board Meeting. Note that Symposia topics are determined approximately 18 months before the date of the symposium.

There is no application form for symposia proposals, howver the proposal should include the following:

  1. A description of your proposed symposium that emphasizes its importance to current “big” questions in the field of Anthropology (two pages maximum). Please address the following questions. We suggest that you use these questions as sub-headings in your answer.
    1. What is the rationale for the symposium, and what are your aims and objectives?
    2. What is the current status of research on the topic and why is there a particular need to hold the symposium at this time and with these participants?
    3. What is the potential contribution to anthropology?

    It is important to make the strongest possible case for the academic importance of your symposium in the context of “big” questions in Anthropology. The Foundation is interested in funding innovative meetings, and you should emphasize the unique aspects of your proposed symposium.

  2. A proposed list of participants, their academic affiliations, and why they have been chose. Note that the proposed participants should NOT be contacted and invited to participate prior to acceptance of the proposal and consultation with the Foundation.

    Please note that a maximum of 17 participants (including organizers) will be invited to attend. The Foundation prioritizes those proposals with the broadest international representation of scholars. We are interested in supporting symposia that include individuals who will bring new and innovative insights to bear on topical anthropological issues and debates. Symposia that only include individuals who represent one side of an issue or who frequently come together to discuss the topic are not prioritized. The participant list should include scholars at all stages of career and reflect an appropriate gender balance. If a multidisciplinary symposium is proposed, the potential participants should normally include a majority of professional anthropologists.

  3. A brief bibliography on the theme of the symposium, reflecting its topical relevance (one page maximum).
  4. A curriculum vitae for the organizer (and co-organizer). Each CV should be no more than five pages in length and include only the most relevant aspects of the applicant's career to date.


Return to Wenner-Gren Symposia overview page.