Webinar Sept. 28th: Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants

Join us on September 28th at 7AM and 7PM Eastern Time, for, “Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grant”.

To register for the 7AM workshop click here.

To register for the 7PM workshop click here.

In 2021, the world still feels like a precarious place. The Covid pandemic is far from over, with vaccine apartheid and resistance and the emergence of new variants threatening populations around the world. Racial injustice, economic inequality, climate catastrophe — none of these things have gone away. These realities are reshaping anthropological practice. Whether or not you are studying these pressing issues, they form the context for your work. Join Danilyn Rutherford, President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, for a discussion of proposal writing in these tumultuous times. She’ll describe the Foundation’s approach to supporting anthropology worldwide, offer tips on succeeding in the competition for Dissertation Fieldwork and Post-PhD Research Grants, and describe some of the Foundation’s new initiatives. There will be lots of time for questions.

September 28th 7AM Eastern Workshop:

September 28th 7PM Eastern Workshop: 

CART captioning for the 7AM workshop will be provided by Wendy Baquerizo.

Webinar Sept. 23rd: Toward Radical Humanism in Anthropology: Ethnographic Praxis, Relationality, Multi-Modality

On September 23rd, 12:00 PM Eastern Time, the Wenner-Gren Foundation will be hosting, “Toward Radical Humanism in Anthropology: Ethnographic Praxis, Relationality, Multi-Modality”.

To register for this event click here.

In this panel, we explore artistic modalities and co-laboring as ways of knowing that offer a multi-modal attunement without pinning down or leaning on a redemptive ‘truth’. The panelists offer reflections and performances that attend to institutional and epistemic violence reproduced in the academy, state or extra/judicial systems. We look to spaces and ways of making knowledge differently that challenge us to reimagine ways of being together and collaborate in research; modes of knowing that refuse and unsettle the ‘comforts’ provided by established canons of what constitutes ‘good’ research methods, conceptual conceits and community entanglements. We reflect on praxis, reciprocity, and esthetic engagements as ways of being and knowing in this particular moment of reckoning with liberal academic discourses on anti-racism and decolonization.


Aimee Cox, PhD, Associate Professor, Yale University

Peter Morin (Tahltan Nation), Associate Professor, OCAD University

Ayumi Goto, PhD, Adjunct professor, OCAD University

Marlon Swai, PhD, Lecturer, University of Cape Town

Dara Culhane, PhD, Professor, Simon Fraser University

Moderated by:

Erin Baines, PhD, Associate Professor, Transformative Memory Project, University of British Columbia

Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, PhD, Professor, Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia

CART captioning will be provided.

Organized by the Association of Black Anthropologists, Anthropology Southern Africa, the Center for Experimental Ethnography, and the Transformative Memory Network

Survey Time! An Investigation of the Demographics and Processes of Research Funding in U.S. Academic Anthropology

We invite you to participate in a research study titled “An Investigation of the Demographics and Processes of Research Funding in U.S. Academic Anthropology,” led by Dr. Laura Heath-Stout.

The purpose of the study is to understand the demographics of anthropology and how they shape decisions about research projects and funding applications. The study will use this information to evaluate the equity of granting agencies’ processes of soliciting applications, reviewing proposals, and making funding decisions.

You are eligible to participate if you have been a member of any of the following organizations at any time in 2016–2021: American Anthropological Association: American Association of Physical/Biological Anthropologists, American Board of Forensic Anthropology, American Society of Primatologists, Archaeological Institute of America, Register of Professional Archaeologists, Society for American Archaeology, Society for Apply Anthropology, Society for Historical Archaeology, Society of Forensic Anthropologists.

Participation is completely voluntary and does not affect your current or future funding decisions. If you consent to participate, you will be invited to fill out an anonymous survey (approximately 35 questions) related to your demographic identities, research, and experience applying grants or fellowships, if any.

We are inviting members of several professional organizations to complete the survey: we apologize if you have received this message multiple times and ask that you only fill out the survey once. If you are interested in participating, please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/anthfundingsm.

Open-Rank Position in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Chicago

Open-rank position in linguistic anthropology
Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Position Description

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago invites applications for an open rank position in linguistic anthropology, to begin as early as July 1, 2022.

We welcome applications from linguistic anthropologists whose empirical, field-based research is grounded in social theory and speaks to questions of broad anthropological significance. We are interested in candidates whose scholarship expands linguistic and semiotic approaches to language and communicative practice, with particular interest in linguistic anthropologists whose research intersects with the study of indigeneity, gender and sexuality, or critical informatics and new media. We seek a candidate eager to participate in the Department’s and University’s academic community. The successful candidate will teach in their area of research, contribute to the linguistic anthropology curriculum, and help strengthen ties between the subfield and other disciplines.

Application Instructions

Applicants are expected to have the PhD in hand by the start of appointment. Applications should include: (1) a current curriculum vitae, including the names and contact information of at least three referees; (2) a cover letter that describes your research and teaching profile, as well as your professional plan for the next 3–5 year period; (3) a research statement addressing current research and future plans for research; (4) a teaching statement addressing teaching experience and philosophy; (5) a sample of scholarly writing. Those applying for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor should include one writing sample, such as a dissertation chapter, journal article, or book chapter. Applicants for a tenured position at the rank of Associate or Full Professor should include two writing samples, such as journal articles or book chapters.

Applicants should apply online at the University of Chicago Academic Career Opportunities website at apply.interfolio.com/92756.

Review of applicants will begin by November 1, 2021; applications will be reviewed until the position is filled or the search has closed.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.The University’s Statements on Diversity are at https://provost.uchicago.edu/statements-diversity.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-1032 or email equalopportunity@uchicago.edu with their request.


Take Part – Survey Sponsored by Wenner-Gren, Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective and More!

The Wenner-Gren Foundation, in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists, the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, and a group of major anthropology funders, is sponsoring a survey.  It’s designed to provide as complete a portrait as possible of who today’s anthropologists are, how they fund their research, and what factors determine who gets supported and who does not.  Focused on North America, the survey is part of a broader initiative designed to promote greater equity in our field. All the major anthropological associations based in the US are participating in this phase of the project; we hope to collaborate with colleagues in other world regions in future research.   You’ll be receiving a link from your professional association that leads to the survey.  Please take a moment to fill it out!

Apply Now! Wenner-Gren Foundation SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program


Wenner-Gren Foundation SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program

The Wenner-Gren Foundation invites applications for its Public Fellowship program. This year, the program will place one fellow in a two-year term (2022-2023) staff position at SAPIENS, the Foundation’s online magazine. The fellow will participate in the substantive work of the magazine and receive professional mentoring. The Fellow will receive a stipend of $50,000 per year and benefits through the University of Chicago Press. The Foundation cannot sponsor a U.S. work visa, but successful applicants may work outside the U.S. Acknowledging the precarity of early career anthropologists, the fellowship may thus be fulfilled by telecommuting from any location or by working at the Foundation’s headquarters in New York City.

This initiative aims to expand the role of doctoral education in the United States by demonstrating that the capacities developed in the advanced study of anthropology have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The program allows advanced scholars to gain career-building experience in public media and science communication.

The Foundation seeks applications from recent PhDs who aspire to careers in public service by choice rather than circumstance. Competitive applicants will be able to demonstrate sincere interest in public anthropology and will have a record of success in both academic and extra-academic endeavors.

Job activities will include but are not limited to:

The position has five primary areas of work, which include the following: (1) oversee the magazine’s art editing process, (2) identify articles by anthropologists for republication, (3) oversee the magazine’s translated articles and process, (4) write Q&A articles and other content, and (5) oversee the magazine’s pedagogical projects. The Managing Editor will also regularly meet with the editorial team through Zoom to build a cohesive editorial vision for the publication and to ensure the publication’s editorial systems are effective and efficient; conduct online or in person workshops for anthropologists on the craft of writing; represent the magazine at conferences and other venues; and collaboratively work with editing colleagues within the publication through Slack.

Desired qualifications of applicants:

  1. have a PhD in anthropology conferred between September 1, 2017 and September 1, 2021
  2. defend and file/deposit their completed dissertations no later than September 1, 2021, and be prepared to verify this with official university documentation during the review and selection process; and
  3. write fluent English, the primary language of the magazine.

Application procedures:

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please apply through the jobs portal at University of Chicago Press, which hosts the position. Note that the two-year postdoctoral fellowship is titled “Managing Editor” for UCP’s administrative purposes. Review of the applications begins on September 15, 2021.

Your cover letter will be a critical part of the application review process. Please talk about 1) your past experiences and how they have led to an interest in this fellowship program, and 2) your vision for the mission of public communication, the future of SAPIENS, and your own future as a practitioner in the field.



Engaged Anthropology Grant: Krista Billingsley

In 2015 Dr. Krista Billingsley was the recipient of a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant to aid research on, “Transitional Justice in Nepal: Endemic Violence and Marginalized Perspectives”. In 2020 Dr. Billingsley was able to build upon her Dissertation Fieldwork Grant when she received an Engaged Anthropology Grant to aid engaged activities on, “Memorialization and Victim-Led Truth-Telling after Nepal’s Armed Conflict”.

In this photograph, Ram Kumar Bhandari is filming Anup Thapa. His father, Shyam Bahadur Thapa, was disappeared in 1998 during Nepal’s armed conflict.

During my Wenner-Gren Foundation-funded fieldwork in 2016 on transitional justice (i.e. mechanisms implemented to redress conflict-era human rights violations that occurred 1996-2006) in Nepal, a key desire expressed by conflict victims was the creation of public memorialization projects to commemorate the lives of their lost loved ones and facilitate greater public knowledge about their victimization during the armed conflict. Nepal’s truth commissions, which included a commission solely focused on disappearances, were taking statements during my fieldwork in 2016. Yet, victims, particularly families of the disappeared in Bardiya District, overwhelmingly called for greater inclusion in post-conflict truth-telling processes. Through this virtual engaged project, I discussed my research findings and ideas for a victim-centric film project with the leaders of conflict victims’ organizations in Nepal via Zoom. Those leaders then met in Bardiya to share my research findings with families of the disappeared and co-develop a victim-led memory project. More people were forcibly disappeared from Bardiya than any other district during Nepal’s armed conflict, and victims there were more likely to be excluded from transitional justice processes implemented by the national government. This project engaged the children of people who were forcibly disappeared during Nepal’s armed conflict to develop a public memory project to (1) respond to my findings and facilitate their participation in the co-creation of anthropological theory, (2) tell their stories through film, (3) memorialize their loved ones lost due to armed conflict, and (4) determine how their stories are disseminated.

This photograph shows families of the disappeared meeting in Bardiya District in February 2021. During this meeting, victims discussed my dissertation research findings from 2016, co-designed our 2021 Wenner-Gren-funded engaged truth-telling project, memorialized their loved ones, and organized for justice.

In February 2021, Ram Kumar Bhandari met with and filmed children of the disappeared (now adults) in Bardiya District. Ram Kumar Bhandari, whose father was disappeared two decades ago by the Nepal Army, advocates for victim-centric processes of transitional justice globally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Law from the NOVA School of Law in Lisbon; works with conflict victims internationally; and helped organize the International Network of Victims and Survivors of Serious Human Rights Abuses, the National Network of Families of the Disappeared (NEFAD), the Committee for Social Justice, the National Victims’ Alliance, Conflict Victims’ Common Platform, and the Hateymalo Widows’ Groups. Ram was eager to serve as the primary research assistant for this project. Ram and I met via Zoom throughout the project (January-July 2021) to discuss logistics and findings. He stated the project was a connecting experience for him as he was able to engage with the next generation of families of the disappeared, to learn more about their experiences as children and adults living without their loved ones, and to connect them to other victims throughout Nepal.

Although several of the interviewees did not personally remember the armed conflict, they argued that people should know what happened to their family and better understand the lasting effects of having a parent forcibly disappeared. When offered suggestions on how to disseminate their film (e.g. send to local community members via text messages, curate for museum exhibits in Nepal and the U.S., post on YouTube, disseminate to academics and human rights advocates), every interviewee said yes to every form of dissemination mentioned without hesitation. While confidentiality is often a concern of researchers working with conflict victims, many victims in Nepal have continually requested that their stories be shared and the names of their loved ones remembered. They were hopeful this engagement could continue to help them connect with a larger network of conflict victims in Nepal. Their understandings of justice were varied and included truth-seeking mechanisms, public acknowledgement that their family members were unjustly disappeared, judicial procedures, and educational and financial support for families of the disappeared. The effects of armed conflict are long-lasting. Donor interest in and United Nations support of Nepal’s transitional justice processes waned long ago. Yet, the experience of losing a parent to enforced disappearance continues to impact families’ security (e.g. physical, financial, emotional), community relations, emotional experiences of everyday life and festivals (holidays), finances, and access to education and employment for generations. Children of the disappeared, although they are now adults, expressed grief over how their disappeared parents are portrayed as deserving of their fate and made clear their desire for their parents’ remains to be returned to their family.

This project is aligned with previous anthropologists’ call for transformative justice that challenges power relations, so victims can shape structures from which they were previously excluded. Many people from the Tharu community, who were disproportionately affected by state violence and enforced disappearances, primarily speak the Tharu language and are illiterate due to their continued exclusion from formal education. A digital media project is therefore especially useful, because it establishes a public memory project that is more accessible than a written report or workshop conducted in Nepali or English. As requested by participants, their films will be distributed this fall via YouTube and text messages. To continue this project and carry out participants wishes, I will edit the films (to display individually and as one shorter film) and organize photographs from my research in Nepal conducted 2013-2021 for museum exhibitions in Nepal and the United States. This project served to connect children of the disappeared to long-standing networks of conflict victims in Nepal and offered families the opportunity to disseminate their stories to a broad audience. Conflict victims rarely have control over their own representation, the co-creation of theory, or knowledge dissemination. Thus, this project foregrounded the voices of victims and created knowledge on their own terms through a virtual memory project where they represented themselves.


SAPIENS Workshop: A Masterclass in Writing for the Public


This workshop provides training in transforming anthropological research into op-eds or essays for a broad public. Taught by expert editors at the online magazine SAPIENS, the multi-day workshop will help participants develop skills for the craft of popular writing. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have an understanding of the editorial process for magazines and newspapers, a grasp of the foundational principles of popular writing, a working draft of an essay or op-ed, and connection with a mentor who can provide guidance beyond the workshop. This is a competitive grant program of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in collaboration with the Association of Black Anthropologists, Black in Bio-Anthropology Collective, and Society of Black Archaeologists.

Click here to apply.

Announcing the 2021 Global Initiatives Grants New Approves

Wenner-Gren is excited to announce the 2021 new approves for our Global Initiatives Grant!

The Black Feminist Archive Pandemic Preservation Project of Black Women Practicing Anthropologists

Dr. Irma McClaurin received funding to encourage and guide Black and Indigenous women who are anthropologists working outside the academy as independent consultants and community-based activists to preserve and archive the invaluable knowledge about social justice issues in their communities and beyond. At a time when many states are prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory, preserving these important historical materials and archiving these collections communicates the value and historical relevance of the work of practicing BIPOC anthropologists to broader communities, as well as to practitioners themselves.

Decanonization: The Global Anthropology Syllabus Project

Dr. Heather O’Leary received funding for the initial stage of an ongoing collaborative initiative aimed at promoting global conversations and collaboration.  The initiative will work towards the creation of a curriculum that expands the narrow focus from knowledge production in traditional academic institutions to a more inclusive, diverse representation of anthropological traditions produced outside hegemonic centers.  This preliminary phase supports the recruitment of a globally diverse and inclusive group of 40 scholars who will serve as an advisory council.

Inclusivity and Ethics in Archaeological Training: The ARF Field School

Dr. Christine Hastorf received funding to pilot an 8 week commuter field school designed to make archaeology more accessible. It provides stipends for BIPOC students and boosts the inclusion of low- and middle-income students entering the career. At the same time, the training will promote community-engaged archaeology and more sustainable ethical stewardship practices by using low impact methods to inventory and analyze orphaned collections and their legacy sites.

Southern African Field Archaeology

Dr. Dipuo Kgotleng received funding for the revival of Southern African Field Archaeology as an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal. The proposed platform encourages and subsidizes African-based scholars, students and practitioners of archaeological and cultural heritage studies by providing free editorial services. It aims to boost the participation of African scholars in disseminating their research results, at the same time it increases readership, public awareness and local participation in the research process.

UnderstandingRace.org Website Upgrade

Dr. Edward Liebow received funding to support the upgrade of the American Anthropology Association’s UnderstandingRace.org website.  This educational resource uses current findings from across the subfields of anthropology to challenge the notion that racial identities are biologically based and fixed. Its teaching guides help to rectify misconceptions about human biological variation and contribute to timely public conversations regarding social injustices.