Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Conference Coordinating Committee Member


Anthropology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Social and Behavioral Sciences


I am not presenting my own work per se at this conference. I am the vice-chairman of the Conference Coordinating Committee. My fellow committee members and I have assembled this conference because there are not formal societies or other scholarly organizations that bring together scholars who study, work with, and theorize around non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in anthropology. This conference is crucial for my personal research dissemination since here I will be able, for the first time, to network with others from around the world with similar research interest and discuss with them a chief topic of the conference: assembling edited volumes, launching a journal, and instituting more conferences to organize the dissemination of research surrounding NGOs in society and the world system. The stated purpose of the conference is below: "Interest in NGOs is rapidly growing among anthropologists. The American Anthropological Association's Special Interest Group on NGOs and Nonprofits is now the largest SIG, with over 1,000 members. Scholars are studying NGOs, nonprofits, and voluntary associations in connection with a vast array of cultural processes, including governance, social movements, professionalization, militarization, morality, religion, gender, neocolonialism, and neoliberal restructuring. The proliferation of studies is, on the one hand, advancing understanding of theoretical and practical issues by bringing scholars together to explore connections across diverse geographies and to debate the changing power and significance of NGOs. On the other hand, the immense number and diversity of nongovernmental organizations worldwide has produced a fragmented body of research and divergent styles of engagement by anthropologists, ranging from active participation to more traditional 'fly on the wall' fieldwork. Anthropologists practicing 'NGO-graphy' confront the question of whether NGOs comprise a coherent object of analysis. Collectively, we face conceptual, methodological and ethical issues that require more intensive discussion. The purpose of this first anthropology of NGOs conference is to assess, define, refine, and invigorate the field of NGO studies as it applies to the anthropological community."

Conference Name

The Future of NGO Studies Conference

Conference Location

Chicago, IL

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