Andrea Muehlebach

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-822

Approve Date

October 1, 2019

Project Title

Muehlebach, Andrea (University of Toronto) "Expanding Global South Nodes for the 2020 SCA Biennial "

We are requesting funding for the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s biennial conference (Distribute 2020), which, like its last iteration (Displacements 2018), will be a virtual and distributed event: virtual in that it will be anchored by a dedicated website that will host and stream prerecorded multimedia presentations, and distributed because it will have participants experience and, crucially, contribute to the conference via local “nodes” across the globe. For our 2018 conference, $3000 from Wenner-Gren allowed us to sponsor fifteen nodes ranging from Addis Ababa to Jakarta. Our 2020 conference will expand the nodal model in two ways. First, we will transform the local nodes, which in 2018 primarily received and disseminated conference content, into active sites of production for, during, and beyond the conference. A workshop grant, distributed across 15 nodes, would allow nodes to create panels, host small-scale supplementary events, and draw in diverse constituencies including artists, activists, and undergraduates. Second, and relatedly, these Global South nodes will become sites of vibrant face-to-face encounters and exchanges that will, in turn, feed back into the virtual conference via social media and other real-time conversational platforms. Making Global South nodes a key component of the conference will widen its “distributed” effect, providing a model not only for carbon-neutral conferencing but for equitable access and internationalization as well.