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Wenner-Gren Symposium Program

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) (Click here  for information on the format of the Symposia). The Foundation no longer owns Burg Wartenstein but modern symposia follow the same model. 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 either initiated by the Foundation or selected from submitted proposals 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.  Once a proposal is accepted, the Foundation will work closely with the organizers to further develop the objectives of the symposium, identify specific topics, and make final decisions on the participants.

Application deadlines for Wenner-Gren Symposia are October 1 and April 1. The October deadline is for symposia that will be held in March of the second year after the deadline (18 months later). The April deadline is for symposia to be held in September of the second year after the deadline. Decisions will be announced within 4-6 weeks after the application deadline.  

Applicants must submit application materials using the Foundation’s online applicant submission procedure.

For more detailed information on program requirements, application procedures and review criteria please refer to the links below: