SPA program cover

2015 Biennial Conference Schedule
Omni Parker House in Boston, MA
April 9-12, 2015



11 am – 7 pm

  • Conference registration


12:00 – 1:45 pm

  • Intergenerational Transmission of Social Vulnerabilities in Fragile Socio-Ecologies: Understanding Children’s Micro-Worlds (Paper session)
  • Subjective Experiences of Illness and Distress (Paper session)
  • Untethering Self and Person: New Directions in Psychological Anthropology (Paper session)


2:15 – 4:00 pm

  • Workshop on Qualitative Data Analysis Software—Dedoose as Exemplar (Workshop)
  • Constructions of Caretakers and Children (Paper session)
  • Healing in Cultural Context (Paper session)
  • Complications of Race, Class and Political Ideology Within and Across US Mental Health Activism(s) (Paper session)


4:30 – 6:15 pm

  • “Getting the Grant”: National Science Foundation (NSF) Funding for Psychological Anthropology (Workshop)
  • Genocide and Mass Violence: Memory, Symptom, and Recovery (Discussion roundtable)
  • Return to the Ethical! Ethics and Ethos (Paper session)
  • Hardship and Its Responses: A Cultural Study of Responses to Hardship and Perceived Wrongs (Paper session)


6:30 – 8:00 pm

  • Welcome reception with cash bar and light appetizers


FRIDAY, April 10

7:30 am – 5:30 pm

  • Conference registration


8:00 – 9:45 am

  • “Methods that Matter”: Breakfast and Lectures from Robert LeVine and Tom Weisner (Special event)
  • Exploring the Tensions and Promise of Community-based Participatory Research with Undergraduate Students and Marginalized Communities (Discussion roundtable)
  • The Communicability of ‘Non-Communicable Diseases’: Phenomenological Explorations of Social Contagion in Intimate Networks of Relatedness (Paper Session)
  • Predicaments to Stay: Anxious Engagements with the ‘New Normal’ in Contemporary China (Paper session)


10:15 am – 12:00 pm

  • Globally Circulating Approaches to Mental Health: Formulations, Practices, and Institutions (Paper session)
  • Who Spoke? A Comparative Phenomenology of Voices and Voice-Hearing (Paper session)
  • Advancing the Study of Globally Circulating “Emotion Pedagogies” (Paper session)
  • The Promise and Peril of Compassion in Everyday Suffering (Paper session)


12:00 – 1:00 pm

  • Lunch break


1:00 – 2:45 pm

  • Culture and Economic Adversity: Contemporary Psychocultural Engagements (Paper session)
  • Ghosts, Haunting, and the Subject of Culture: Towards an Anthropological Hauntology (Paper session – Part 1)
  • Transitioning Out of Infancy: Weaning, Attachment and Social Learning (Paper session)
  • Anticipation: Experience and the Shaping of Futures (Paper session)


3:15 – 5:00 pm

  • Parents’ Aspirations for Children in a Globalizing World (Paper session)
  • Ghosts, Haunting, and the Subject of Culture: Towards an Anthropological Hauntology (Paper session – Part 2)
  • Care and Institutionality in a Time of Global Mental Healthcare (Paper session)
  • Theory and Method – Cross-disciplinary Dialogues (Paper session)


5:30 – 7:30 pm

  • Postcolonial Theory and Psychological Anthropology: A Conversation with Homi Bhabha (Plenary session)


SATURDAY, April 11

7:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • Conference registration


8:00 – 9:15 am

  • Creative Self-Making (Paper session)
  • Psychological Anthropology at the Ontological Turn: Intersections, Critiques, and New Developments (Paper session)
  • Autism: Challenging Common Expert Models (Paper session)
  • Memory/History/Home (Paper session)


9:45 – 11:30 am

  • No Rest for the Dead: New Approaches to Understanding Death, Bereavement and Ghosts and the Imagination (Paper session)
  • Politics and States: Identity, Conflict, and Distress (Paper session)
  • Culture and Human Development: Historical Roots and Contemporary Directions (Paper session)
  • Moral Sentiments and Psychological Anthropology (Paper session)


11:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • Lunch break


12:30 – 4:00 pm

  • Controversies in Global Mental Health (Plenary session)


4:30 – 6:00 pm

  • Resilience (Paper session)
  • Violent Talk: The Production of Social Experience and Subjectivity (Paper session
  • Empathy and its Limits: Reflections on Ethnographic Engagements (Roundtable discussion)
  • Translatability of Human Experience: Reassessment of Monolithic Translations of Japanese-Derived Experiences through the Triangulation of the Native, the Etic, and the In-Between (Roundtable discussion)


6:00 – 7:30 pm

  • Poster session
  • Cocktail reception with cash bar


7:30 – 9:30 pm

  • Saturday Night Banquet with SPA Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation to Vincent Crapanzano and a talk from Paul Famer


SUNDAY, April 12

7:45 – 10:45 am

  • Conference registration


8:00 – 9:45 am

  • Coming of Age in Institutions: Youth, Gender, and Bureaucratic Subjectivity (Paper session)
  • Relating Self and Other (Paper session)
  • Critical in the Clinic: The Highs and Lows of Psychological Anthropology in Mental Health Practice (Paper session)
  • Agency from Different Lenses: Contested Margins and Subjective Challenges to Liminality and Everyday Exclusion (Paper session)


10:15 am – 12:00 pm

  • Workshop on the Integration of Visual and Psychological Anthropology (Ethnographic filmmaking workshop from Rob Lemelson (Elemental Productions))
  • Remembering Melford Spiro (Roundtable discussion and memorial)
  • Affecting Migration (Paper session)
  • At Home: Intimacies of Citizenship, History and Caring (Paper session)


12:00 – 1:00 pm

  • Lunch break


1:00 – 2:45 pm

  • Psychoanalysis and Psychological Anthropology in Conversation (Discussion roundtable)
  • Transnational Lives (Paper session)
  • Communities, Agency, and Self-Definition (Paper session)