Intimacy and Interaction

The 2021 Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory

Durham, North Carolina

The program committee of the 2021 ASE conference invites submissions for the annual meeting to take place on November 10-14, 2021 in downtown Durham, North Carolina.

The members of the  program committee, like the rest of us, remain uncertain about what COVID will look like by then, and we know that many of our universities have reduced or eliminated travel budgets. We firmly believe that an in-person conference is vital for us to make the usual connections with both emerging and established colleagues, sharing not only research, but also time together to consider various issues related to teaching, research, and professional development. Thus, at this time we plan to move ahead with the in-person conference, but we have made several adjustments, and we ask for your flexibility. First, we will make a final decision as to whether to move the conference fully online no later than August 1. Second, assuming we go ahead with the in-person conference, we will give colleagues the option of proposing online, hybrid, and/or in-person sessions. So, please state in your proposal which type of session (online, hybrid, or in-person) you propose to do. Finally, we have delayed the deadline for proposals to September 1, thus allowing you the maximum time possible to make a decision, with the hope that by that time we will all know more. This is the latest feasible due date, and even this will require a very quick turnaround for the program committee.

We invite panel proposals on any topic related to ethnohistory and especially within this year’s theme: Intimacy and Interaction.  The program committee encourages thematic panels that include perspectives from both North and Latin America, as well as panels that include perspectives from other areas of the world.

As you think about the topic of Intimacy and Interaction, we note that the re-structuring to which this CFP refers includes religious ceremonialism, language, re-adjustments of spatial configurations of families and communities, and the simple exigencies of material and cultural survival. We ask you to consider such questions as: How have Indigenous peoples structured notions of intimacy and intimate relationships? How have colonial rule, settler colonialism, and empire formation forced a restructuring of intimate interactions between people both within Indigenous communities and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples? How have extended families, family networks, and communities been altered or disrupted (often violently) by colonial and neocolonial forces? How has the law been used to alter, limit, control, or outlaw intimate relationships within Indigenous societies or between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples? Conversely, how have Indigenous communities and extended lineages used colonial and modern institutions to defend and reclaim territories, spiritual domains, and communal relations of kinship and affinity? How have capitalism, neoliberalism, globalization and other institutional forces altered notions of intimate relationships among Indigenous peoples? How have Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples responded to these structural forces?

We will consider proposals for multiple formats including panels, roundtables, and public workshops, but we strongly encourage creativity, moving beyond the typical 20-minute paper presentation format. Also, while we will consider individual paper proposals, we strongly encourage individuals who have paper ideas to get together with others through various forums in order to meet other people working on related topics.  If you are thinking about an individual paper, please post on H-AmIndian, H-LatAm, H-Borderlands, or similar listservs to find others who are interested in presenting related papers.

If you have any questions about proposals, please email the program committee assistant at

Please note that panels can consist of three to four papers, while roundtables and “working-groups/workshops” can be more loosely formatted by each organizer, but all need to adhere to each session’s 90-minute time slot.  Please ensure your proposal has a designated chair.  You may include a separate commentator before audience discussion, or you may designate the panel chair as commentator or discussion facilitator.  To maximize time for audience discussion, we ask papers to be 15-20 minutes (in a three-paper panel) or 10-15 minutes (in a 4-paper panel), with formal commentary no longer than 5 minutes.  Please state at the top of your proposal whether you wish to have your panel online, hybrid (with some mixture of in person and online elements), or in person. Complete panel proposals with a chair and/or a commentator are preferred, but individual paper proposals will also be considered.

Submission Deadline: September 1, 2021