43rd Annual Conference of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc.

(UGAT/Anthropological Association of the Philippines)

Hosts: Department of Sociology and Anthropology - Anthropological and Sociological Initiatives of the Ateneo (DSA-ASIA) and Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC)

09-10 December 2021 (Virtual over Zoom)

Anthropologies of (De)Colonization and Beyond

This year marks five centuries since the first documented circumnavigation of the globe brought different cultures into contact with each other, paving the way for European colonialism and cultural dominance. As the Philippine experience has underscored, colonial encounters were experienced by different peoples in different places across different time periods in diverse ways. For instance, the violence of colonialism ranged from outright genocide to more insidious forms of structural and symbolic violence, such as the scientific racism that legitimized the inequity between colonizer and colonized. However, colonialism also involved non-European actors, and brought peoples from different parts of the world into contact. Moreover, these global encounters also involved the exchange and flow of pathogens, microbes, animals, plants, and other nonhumans.


Indeed, the historical events of the past 500 years illustrate how humans and nonhumans have been imbricated in corporeal, symbolic, socio-political, and virtual encounters. Like the cholera plagues of Spanish Philippines and the 'colonial pathologies’ of the American colonial period, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the globalized, still globalizing, and still highly-unequal nature of our societies today, with impacts that range from the fragile realities of our communities to the fraught geopolitics of our world system.


How do we make sense of these processes in ways that decenter the narrative from its traditional protagonists and more faithfully account for its multiplicity of actors - while maintaining our commitment to the ethos of social justice? And as we continue to grapple with colonialism and the ‘coloniality of power’, how can we use anthropological perspectives to interrogate their enduring legacies, amid growing calls to ‘decolonize’ academia and beyond?


This conference calls for proposals that reflect on these questions and pursue explorations of (post)colonialism and (de)coloniality using perspectives from anthropology and related fields. We invite anthropologists, anthropology practitioners/supporters/enthusiasts and all scholars and academes from all disciplines around the world, to submit and present studies that examine the past 500 years of exploration, conquests, encounters, biological and cultural exchanges; symbols, rituals and meanings; power and structural dynamics of dominance and objectification; and consequences desired or not beyond normal notions of physicality of encounters and exchanges that connect people, communities and countries into a global community made possible/unequal/untenable by the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s scientific advances and the contemporary crises of our time.

Individual and panel proposals may cover the following topics:

  • Precolonial contacts: worldviews, material cultures, archaeology

  • Dominance and conflicts: wars, revolutions, rebellions, low-intensity conflicts

  • Colonization and medicine: epidemics past and present

  • Evangelization and religious contacts: religious movements, cosmological encounters

  • Indigeneity: Indigenous Peoples in transitions, ethnicities

  • Digital encounters: virtual communities, advances in ICTs, flexible Learning and the COVID 19 virtual classrooms

  • Encounters with globalization: travel and tourism; trade and commerce; supply chain and product branding; expatriates and overseas workers

  • Political and Cultural encounters: social movements; law and enforcement; self and others

  • Violent confrontations: world wars, revolutions, rebellions

  • Art forms and expressions: art objects and appreciations; craftsmanship

  • Gender and (de)colonization: impact of colonization to women and children; gender and sexuality encounters; bodily encounters

  • Research as encounters: time, space and place; researchers and the researched; community engagements; decolonizing research

  • Knowledge systems: science and local knowledge intersections; traditional ecological knowledge

  • Kinship: intercultural marriages; Inter-generational encounters

  • Language and communication: language loss, linguistic diversity, language documentation

  • Fourth Industrial revolution

  • Non-human and more-than-human anthropology

  • Decolonizing anthropology

Proposals that do not fall under any of the identified topics above may be given consideration.


Conference Conveners:

Josefina Socorro Flores Tondo, PhD (Camarines Norte State College)

Eulalio R. Guieb, PhD (University of the Philippines Diliman)


  • Submissions must use the Submission Form which includes an abstract (250 words) written in a style that is accessible to non-academic audiences.

  • Submissions are due on October 15, 2021.

  • Decision on submission proposals will be issued thru email by October 2021.

For further information, please email us at

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