SALSA 2019 Panels/Workshops XII Sesquiannual Conference

Panels and Workshops
2019 SALSA XII Sesquiannual Conference, Vienna, Austria

Thematic Panels:

  1. Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance
  2. Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America (accepting paper proposals)
  3. Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia (accepting paper proposals)
  4. The Chibchan Peoples (accepting paper proposals)
  5. Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos  (accepting paper proposals)
  6. Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos (accepting paper proposals)
  7. Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America (accepting paper proposals)
  8. Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur (accepting paper proposals)
  9. Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia (accepting paper proposals)
  10. Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums (accepting paper proposals)
  11. Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations (accepting paper proposals)
  12. Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations (accepting paper proposals)

Independent papers (to be assigned to a Thematic Panel or Session)

Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures

PANEL 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance

Abstract The powerful allure that big cities have exerted, and continue to exert, over the imaginaries of native Amazonian peoples has transformed these places into models for the representation of extreme alterity under the guise of extraordinary, other-than-human worlds. Indigenous mythical and cosmological discourse has peopled the land with underground cities, subaquatic metropolis and celestial towns that are normally invisible to lay people. These urban settings are characterized by a strong identification with the symbols of the highly urbanized and industrial national societies of which native Amazonian peoples form part. They often include elements regarded as being emblematic of city life: streets, cars, stores, banks, hospitals, and high rises. They are places characterized by the abundance of consumer goods, money, complex technologies, bizarre alimentary customs, and alien –often contrary– social and political forms of organization; places whose urban structure, architecture and metropolitan practices are no longer mere narrative props, but the means to convey indigenous concerns about the nature of power and alterity, but also of domination and defiance. In a juncture where increasing numbers of native Amazonians are moving to large towns and cities, the study of these urban imaginaries is not a mere exoticizing ethnographic endeavor, but an academic imperative. Through the systematic analysis of these urban imaginaries as represented in myths, cosmological discourse and narratives of personal experiences, we seek to understand the reasons for their widespread diffusion as well as their possible meanings.

Fernando Santos-Granero (
Emanuele Fabiano (

ChairsFernando Santos-Granero, Emanuele Fabiano
DiscussantJonathan D. Hill

Accepted Papers:
Natalia Buitrón-Arias, “Cities of the Forest: A Utopia that Averts Thousand Dystopias or Power through Urbanization among the Shuar of Ecuadorian Amazonia”
Anne-Marie Colpron, “The forest of multipliCities: Shipibo-Conibo shamanic experiences of becoming “urban” and “White””
Philippe Erikson, ““Originally, Riberalta was called Xëbiya and it was ruled by Mawa Maxokiri…” Urban Imaginaries and Urban Migration among the Chacobo (Beni, Bolivia)”
Emanuele Fabiano, “Arboreal City-States, Phyto-Warfare, and Dendritic Societies: An Urarina Metropolitan View of the World”
Peter Gow, ““Work Colleagues, Neighbors and Friends”: The Existential Projects of Urban Dwellers in Peruvian Amazonia”
Fabiana Maizza, “Jarawara Town-Villages and the Domestic Domain in Anthropology: Reverse Reflections”
Daniela Peluso, “A tale of three cities: power relations amidst Ese Eja urban imaginaries”
Fernando Santos-Granero, “The Deep Roots of Southern Arawak Urban Imaginaries: Tales of Alterity in the “Longue Durée””
Adriana Queiroz Testa, “Ambivalent liaisons with(in) the city and beyond: alterity and power among the Guarani Mbya”
Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, “Parallel narratives and relationality lost in modern urban Amazonia”
Robin Wright, “‘Cities’ in the Hohodene Cosmos: Spaces of Alterity and Power as Exegetical Tools in Mythic Narrative”

PANEL 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

AbstractThis panel focuses on creative processes and the semantics fields of formation, reproduction and reconfiguration of life, the world and the living. Which actions and processes are involved in creative processes? Which technics and forms of knowledge are implemented? How are these processes conceptualized and linguistically expressed in myth and everyday life, and ritually enacted? How are these processes transformed and used to deal with the contemporary world? How is the creative potential of Others (spirits, gods, whites) conceptualized and what is the relationship between creation and destruction? Creative processes have been analyzed in terms of rituals with specific focus on the transformative power of music and instruments, in terms of fabrication and constructional understandings of personhood, as well as in terms of metamorphosis and of becoming an Other. This panel asks for the links of creative everyday practices, rituals and myth. Myths explain the transformation of formerly existing conditions, the creation of different forms of life and the transmission of goods through mythical beings in a historical-mythical past. But in how far do these processes permeate into everyday life and manifest themselves in environmental phenomena, landscapes, objects, the body and socio-cultural phenomena or much more contradict everyday practices? Of special interest are papers that theorize creative processes beyond the logics of the material and the immaterial, that scrutinize established theoretical knowledge based on new empirical research or that show from a comparative perspective the differences and continuities of creative processes and practices across Lowland South America and beyond.

Ernst Halbmayer (
Anne Goletz (

ChairsErnst Halbmayer, Anne Goletz

Accepted papers:
Bernd Brabec de Mori, “Contemporary Inka – The presence of the remote past in Panoan mythology”
Juan Castrilllón, “Dis-appearing the Yuruparí in Three Acts, or A Shamanic Organology Without Instruments: Woman Laughter, Radio Towers, and Sound Recordings In the Uaupés.”
Anne Goletz, “Corn Master Osema – On Transmitting Mythical Knowledge into the Everyday in the Serranía del Perijá, Northern Colombia”
Ernst Halbmayer, “Mythical Actors and Forms of Creation among Carib and Chibcha-speaking Groups of Northern South America”
Jonathan D. Hill, “The Chant-Owner and his Music: Steps toward an Integrated Musical and Mythic Approach to the Poetics of Social Life in an Amazonian Community”
Matthias Lewy, “Intersemiotic Translations (Transmutations) in Mythical Complexes in the Guianas”
Elke Mader, “Nunkui, the Potter: Creativity, Ontology, and Myth”
Alessandro Mancuso, “The “Twin myth” among the Wayuu in comparative perspective”
Alfonso Otaegui, ““You only cry for the good Ayoreo”. On ritual wailing and the poetic creation of normativity in the northern Paraguayan Chaco”

PANEL 03: Indigenous  futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

AbstractThis panel considers how indigenous Amazonians imagine, discuss and negotiate the future amidst radical economic and political changes that are affecting Amazonia and Latin America more broadly – such as growing urbanisation, migratory processes, the arrival of new materialities, the impact of state policies and globalised media, and so forth. Our aim is to focus on how indigenous peoples navigate and envisage transformative futures in ways that intermingle with political, cosmological and practical aspects of Amazonian life; but also how emerging narratives on “the future of Amazonia” promoted by the state, NGOs and other external agencies impinge on indigenous cosmologies and ontologies. We invite participants to consider the following questions: What emerging subjectivities take form with increased engagement with the state and non-indigenous society, whether discordant or consistent with their existing ethos, morality and cosmology?; how are ongoing economic and political changes affecting indigenous notions of, but also expectations for, their future lives? How have indigenous temporal frames been affected by this contemporary engagement?; how do different generations of Amazonians envisage their future amidst radical transformations that are affecting Amazonia and Latin America at large such as resource extraction, party politics, NGO ideologies, beauty contests, and increased technology use?, how can indigenous people and anthropologists engage in a mutual conversation and explore paths towards establishing a sustainable future?

Camilla Morelli (
Amy Penfield (

Chairs: Camilla Morelli, Amy Penfield
DiscussantNatalia Buitrón-Arias

Accepted papers:
Virgilio Bomfim, “Culture in our hands: Semantic bridges between indigenous peoples and Western society in the era of projects”
Carolina Comandulli, “Cultivating diversity in the Anthropocene: the case of the Ashaninka people from Amônia River”
Victor Sacha Cova, “”I will kill everybody, then the army will kill me”: Extermination scenarios among the Shuar”
Louis Forline, “What’s next? Prospects and challenges for the Awá-Guajá in the times of Bolsonaro”
Natalia García Bonet, “The future is in the past: Indigenous people and the Bolivarian revolution’s ‘new man’”
Luis Garcia-Briceño, “The future is (almost) now: Immediatism and Change in Christian Dhe’kwana’s understandings of time”
Flavia Kremer, “Debating the Future of Bororo villages: Smartphones, Facebook and the politics of representation”
Giovanna Micarelli, ““Civilizing the future”: indigenous historicities and the practice of healing”
Camilla Morelli, “The Right to Change: Social Transformation and the Uncertain Futures of Matses Children in Peru”
Amy Penfield, “The Terror of Imminence: Temporality and approaching non-indigenous worlds in Amazonia”
Glenn H. Shepard Jr., “Kaya-Pop: Appropriation, authenticity and indigenous modernity in Brazil”
Aleksandra Wierucka, “Between Oil and Tourism – Young Huaorani’s Plans for the Future”

PANEL 04: The Chibchan Peoples

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

AbstractAt contact, the Chibchan speaking peoples inhabited a compact zone stretching from southeastern Central America to far northwestern South America.  Although the linguistic and genetic similarity of these peoples is well documented, they manifested considerable differences in other anthropological dimensions. They inhabited both montane and lowland environments. They ranged in social organization from robustly egalitarian tribal groups to the paramount chiefdom (or perhaps proto-state) of the Muiscas, the most accomplished gold workers in the New World. Their kin terminological systems were diverse, comprising Hawaiian, Dravidian and Iroquois terminologies. Their religious practices ranged from an egalitarian shamanism to a specialized and highly trained priesthood.  Although some traits have been suggested as common to all or almost all the Chibchan peoples—e.g. an absence of internal warfare, a set of cosmological principles that contrasted with those of the surrounding peoples—it remains in dispute as to whether one can speak of a common core of Chibchan culture. In the last decade a good deal of research has been done among the twenty odd surviving Chibchan peoples, and this work is continuing.  This symposium brings together Chibchan researchers of various orientations—ethnographers, ethno-historians, linguists, geneticists, archaeologists—to share their findings and cross-fertilize their research programs.  The papers to be presented here offer ethnographic, archaeological, linguistic and genetic data intended to address the question of just how similar the Chibchan peoples were and are, an inquiry that addresses such important issues as cultural inheritance and the origins and maintenance of ethnicity.

Manuel Lizarralde (
Juan Camilo Niño Vargas (
Stephen Beckerman (

Chairs: Manuel Lizarralde, Juan Camilo Niño Vargas

Accepted papers:
Stephen Beckerman, “Semi-sedentism among Chibchan peoples”
María del Rosario Ferro, “Tracing ancestral connections: walking and thinking through Donald Tayler’s writing in Ika territory in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta”
John Hoopes, ““Diffuse Unity,” Chibchan Archaeology, and the Isthmo-Colombian Area: Assessing the Utility of Provisional Concepts”
Manuel Lizarralde, “The Bari, a Chibchan lowland people: Some interpretations of an indigenous people of Colombia and Venezuela”
Juan Camilo Niño Vargas, “La cosecha de animales: la agricultura como marco para manejo del entorno entre los Chibchas”
Scott Palumbo, Keilyn Rodríguez-Sánchez, and Frank Morales-Céspedes, “The Historic and Ethnographic Use of Knotted String Records in southern Central America”

PANEL 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: La multiplicación de materiales etnográficos sobre nuevas formas de violencia que afectan a poblaciones indígenas en el mundo contemporáneo sugiere la necesidad de ampliar la reflexión iniciada en 2017 en Lima sobre la relación entre chamanismo y violencia. Entendemos por “configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto” situaciones o acontecimientos en los cuales el campo relacional que une a los actores se articula alrededor de actos de violencia física, armada o simbólica. Los objetivos de este panel son dar continuidad al análisis de la conexión entre chamanismo y violencia como estrategia, respuesta o forma de resistencia frente a diversas formas de violencia que los grupos indígenas sufren, y, especialmente, explorar la emergencia de nuevas formas de violencia y de resolución de conflictos en contextos indígenas, tanto rurales como urbanos. Estas se deben a diversos factores, como el surgimiento de nuevos modos de organización política, la aparición de jerarquías en las sociedades locales o situaciones de violencia armada duradera en el contexto nacional. En esta perspectiva, parece importante restituir y analizar la recomposición de relaciones y estatus entre generaciones y géneros, y los modos violentos de gestionar estas nuevas diferencias. Además, es necesario encuadrar estas líneas temáticas en una reflexión más general sobre los retos de la aproximación etnográfica de las violencias. Estas constituyen un objeto antropológico reciente, especialmente en el campo de la etnología amazónica y plantean desafíos metodológicos y éticos que conviene desentrañar.

Laura Pérez Gil (
Esther Jean Langdon (

ChairsAnne Marie Losonczy, Esther Jean Langdon, Laura Pérez Gil
Discussants: Anne Marie Losonczy, Esther Jean Langdon, Laura Pérez Gil

Accepted papers:
Nelsa De la Hoz, “Dueños del rezo y dueños del soplo”
Agathe Faure, “Forced displacement of Embera Dobida families in Medellin and social reconfigurations around violence”
Evgenia Fotiou, “Embodiment and Sorcery in Shamanic Tourism”
Simone Garra, “Magia de la ciudad, magia del Diablo: urbanización y acusaciones de brujería entre los Awajún (Amazonas, Perú)”
Tarryl Janik, “A Return to Dark Shamans: Kanaima & the Cosmology of Threat”
Silvia Romio, “El “pre-Baguazo” y sus historias: anatomía de un conflicto (Alto Marañón- Perú)”
Marco Tobón, “Os bailes rituais e a cura da guerra. A Amazônia indígena nos pós-acordos de paz na Colômbia”

PANEL 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para  el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: Dialogar, discutir y reflexionar sobre “Memorias de violencia y post-conflicto” en Amazonia aparece actualmente como un hecho impostergable,  un tema que no solo nos remite al estado de la situación humanitaria de las sociedades amazónicas, también a los desafíos políticos regionales, a la lucha por los derechos  y a los desafíos en la re-construcción de tejidos sociales en contextos recientemente (o históricamente) removidos por dinámicas de guerras. Es nuestro deseo armar una mesa de discusión que abarque y reflexione sobre las múltiples formas de relación, acción y performance que los diferentes grupos amazónicos van construyendo con la memoria de su pasado (de curación, de olvido, de relación onírica, de venganza, de motor de vida…) , dentro de un contexto de pos-conflicto. ¿Cómo los cuerpos, las voces y las memorias son movilizados en los desafíos de reconstrucción social y cultural? ¿De qué forma, y bajo cuales modalidades, la memoria, el olvido, los rituales o los gestos cotidianos terminan por re-formular las experiencias recientemente vividas? Finalmente, nos aproximaremos a explorar bajo cuales perspectivas y finalidades, el pasado es gestionado mediante las palabras, los gestos, los silencios y las performances de actores indígenas (o no indígenas) en sus dinámicas cotidianas, y qué tipo de sociedades son puestas en marcha con tales gestiones culturales.

Silvia Romio (
Marco Tobón (

Chairs: Silvia Romio, Marco Tobón
Discussant: Hanne Veber

Accepted papers:
Emily Caruso, “When the body can’t forget: Narratives of war-related disease among Ene Ashaninka survivors of the Peruvian internal conflict”
Natali Durand Guevara, “Cuando los río se cruzan – mitología, etnicidad y resistencia en el conflicto armado interno peruano: una mirada desde el pueblo asháninka”
Pedro Fermín Maguire, “Arqueología de las ‘cárceles indígenas’ de Minas Gerais, Brasil”
Dany Mahecha Rubio / Carlos Eduardo Franky Calvo, “Olvidar para renacer: Elementos para comprender las formas de la memoria entre los Nükak (Amazonia colombiana)”
Andrés Napurí Espejo, “Eeja múúja: The testimony of an indigenous Bora woman during the Amazon Rubber Boom”

PANEL 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and  Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: This panel explores the possibilities and weaknesses of participatory and collaborative approaches in engaging with the continued economic, social and political marginalisation of Indigenous Peoples across Latin America. Based on experience or plans for new forms of research and relationships with Peoples of Lowland South America or on research on the collaborative approaches of others the papers will address the recent academic, political and public calls for participatory approaches and a wider decolonization of research, theories and methodologies. While we would suggest that the importance of participative methods and forms of collaboration have long been evident in the work and activities of many scholars, advocates and workers in the region there is nevertheless a need to assess their relative success as well as to refine and propose concrete and enduring forms of collaboration based around symmetrical relations. This panel seeks ways in which changing the methodologies and practices of research might be part of solving the problem of its potential complicity in existing hierarchical regimes while also continuing to critically engage with the regions’ populations and issues.Papers on the panel will be given by individuals working at the intersection of Indigenous demands and scholarly research in a range of different fields and contexts. Papers will engage with questions about how research can support Indigenous Peoples as well as the limitations and restrictions such efforts face. Other questions will be how this responsibility translates into research agenda-setting, methodological decisions, and forms of knowledge co-production and dissemination. (Español)

Andrea M Vásquez Fernández (
Claudia A. Arteaga (
Giancarlo Rolando Betancourt (
Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti (
Evan Killick (

ChairClaudia A. Arteaga

Accepted papers:
Claudia A. Arteaga, “Visibilizando la precariedad en dos documentales sobre el pueblo amazónico Amahuaca”
Jeremy Campbell, “The Anteater and the Anaconda: Territorial Auto-Demarcation and Interethnic Collaborations in the Brazilian Amazon”
Mauricio Caviedes, “Enseñar marxismo entre los Uitoto: La experiencia de un antropólogo promoviendo el movimiento indígena amazónico”
Evan Killick, “Decolonial Limitations? A consideration of apparent barriers to equalizing research and collaboration in Peruvian Amazonia”
Leonidas Oikonomakis, “From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba”
Giancarlo Rolando Betancourt, “Trouble in Paradise: collaboration and participatory conservation”
Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti, “Who represents whom? The challenges of collaboration and representation in Loreto’s Mesa PIACI (Peruvian Amazon)”
Andrea M Vásquez Fernández, “Mutual Respect? A collaborative project with the Asheeninka and Yine Peoples from the Peruvian Amazon”

PANEL 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: El cristianismo se ha vuelto un tema de investigación importante en los estudios sobre las tierras bajas de América del Sur durante las últimas décadas. Sin embargo, fue analizado principalmente desde la perspectiva de la conversión de pueblos indígenas a formas de cristianismo introducidas por misioneros extranjeros. El objetivo de este panel consiste en enriquecer nuestro conocimiento los movimientos cristianos en las tierras bajas de América del Sur focalizándonos no en la conversión sino en las relaciones entre los cristianos de diferentes obediencias y en las circulaciones entre diversas formas de cristianismo a escala local. Trataremos de entender lo que está en juego en las disputas religiosas (entre órdenes católicas, entre católicos y protestantes, entre distintas denominaciones evangélicas, etc.), cómo surgen nuevas iglesias a través de disidencias o como se pasa de una iglesia a otra. Para ello nos interesaremos en los discursos sobre la ortodoxia – la forma correcta de cristianismo. Nos preguntaremos también en qué medida el vocabulario que usamos es adecuado para describir las experiencias cristianas de las poblaciones estudiadas prestando interés a las categorías vernáculas. El panel está abierto a contribuciones que abordan situaciones históricas o presentes en contextos tanto indígenas como no-indígenas. Asuntos posibles incluyen – pero no se limitan a – la lucha entre diferentes tipos de misioneros por la evangelización de los habitantes de las tierras bajas de América del Sur, las controversias y negociaciones inter e intradenominacionales que ocurren dentro de las comunidades locales sobre las formas correctas de cristianismo o las modalidades de cambio de afiliación cristiana.

Elise Capredon (
Minna Opas (

ChairsElise Capredon, Minna Opas
DiscussantVéronique Boyer

Accepted papers:
Elise Capredon, “Uniones y divisiones entre las Iglesias evangélicas indígenas: el caso de las Iglesias shipibo de la Amazonía peruana”
César Ceriani, “Procesos de misionalización y políticas de la cultura en el Chaco indígena argentino”
Anna Meiser, “Cómo (y hasta qué punto) indigenizar el cristianismo?: Debates entre y dentro iglesias indígenas sobre la autenticidad e identidad del ser “indígena cristiano” en la Amazonía Alta”
Minna Opas, “Spaces in-between: Inter-denominational dynamics among the Yine”
Erik Pozo-Buleje, “Católicos y evangélicos: sobre las formas correctas de matrimonio y parientes prohibidos para la vida conyugal cristiana y la persistencia del sistema de parentesco y matrimonio jíbaro awajún (aguaruna) de la Amazonía Peruana”

PANEL 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: Gender has long been a topic of interest for anthropologists working in lowland South America, particularly in the Amazonian region. Scholars have critically interrogated the complex processes by which women and men produce, enact and reproduce gendered identities and fulfill gendered roles within their societies. A more recent but rapidly growing line of inquiry has turned its attention to the shifting contours and transformations of gender within indigenous societies, with special attention to how these have been shaped by colonial relations of power, capitalist development and contemporary struggles for indigenous rights. This panel will examine these shifts and transformations from multiple angles, including memory, performance, and leadership. We will explore a wide range of interactions that have contributed to shifting notions and performances of gender, spanning from the very intimate engagements that can occur between tour guides and tourists, to the international arenas of scientific conferences and United Nations treaty negotiations.

Juliet S. Erazo (
Ernesto J. Benitez (

ChairJuliet S. Erazo
DiscussantsLaura Zanotti, Catherine Alès

Accepted papers:
Ernesto J. Benitez, “‘All great warriors had long hair': the impact of Amazonian tourism on Kichwa masculinity and sexuality in Napo, Ecuador”
Daniela Botero Marulanda, “Cambios en las relaciones de género en las danzas murui-muina en un contexto urbano”
Emily Colón, “Female Indigenous Engagement with Belem +30″
Juliet S. Erazo, “Becoming Politicians: Indigenous Women’s Processes of Running for and Holding Elected Office”
Travis Fink, “Gender and Historical Memory in the Ecuadorian Amazon”

PANEL 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: During the colonial period, Europeans in the New World collected indigenous material culture to be exhibited in what were first cabinets of curiosities and later national museums. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, collecting-mania was replaced by systematic collecting as part of early anthropological and archaeological scientific practices. As these disciplines developed, so did the scope and profile of indigenous collections. These numerous assemblages now housed in European museums are the material heritage of indigenous peoples. As such, they provide a wealth of information about indigenous histories and ways of life, as well as about their interactions with non-indigenous peoples and worlds. In the particular case of Brazilian collections, since the mid-twentieth century anthropologists and historians have been trying to locate and document the many collections taken from Brazil to Europe, sometimes being able to reconstruct collection biographies and object trajectories, other times trying to reconnect historical collections to indigenous knowledge practices and identities in the present-day. The aim of this panel is to bring together researchers working on studies of ethnographic and/or archaeological collections from both a material culture perspective (in-depth object analysis) and a historical perspective (focusing on histories of collections), or both. The panel looks at both archaeological and ethnographic collections as a means to question the sometimes unnecessarily rigid divide between pre- and post-contact temporalities.

Mariana Françozo (
Felipe Vander Velden (

ChairMariana Françozo

Accepted papers:
Caroline Fernandes Caromano, “The musealization of fire: What can Amazonian artefacts in European museums bring to light?”
Leandro Matthews Cascon / Mariana Françozo, “Museum Objects, Native Choices: Investigating Tupi ethnographic artifacts as sources of transmission of indigenous knowledge and agency”
Meliam Viganó Gaspar / Igor M. Mariano Rodrigues, “An (ethno)archaeology of ethnographic collections: Cariban case studies”
Felipe Vander Velden, “Penas de galinha, couro de bois: explorando a introdução de animais exóticos nas coleções museológicas sul-americanas na Europa”

PANEL 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: For the last two decades, anthropological scholarship has proposed that relationality is a central characteristic of Native Amazonian worlds. Viveiros de Castro suggests that entities named by substantives like fish or snakes are not defined in terms of their intrinsic properties. They are conceived of as relational pointers – similar to kinship terms – that are defined in terms of their relations to something else. This panel asks if, how and when non-relational entities, that is entities which it is not possible or not desirable to relate to, emerge in lowland South America. In Naturalism and the Invention of Identity (2017) Strathern discusses how notions of persons as self-contained entities has gradually stabilized in Europe since the late 1700 C. Concomitantly, it became common in modern Europe to conceptualize such self-contained persons as relating to each other through external relations. In this panel we follow Strathern’s insights about how notions of relationality change over time and her idea of ‘cutting the network’, for example due the recognition of individual property rights. This panel explores what we can learn about notions of relationality and the constitution of entities if we focus on the ongoing transformations of landscapes in the Amazon such as the establishment of plantations, resource extraction and infrastructural development, and practices around stranger items and consumer goods. We invite contributions that describe persons, things and landscapes that are perceived as non-relational entities and which may entail radically different imaginations of the social. We have in mind items and landscapes that perceived as empty or detached, which withstand efforts of relating, operate outside human control or actively produce erasures or detachments.

Stine Krøjer (
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos (

Chair: Stine Krøjer
Discussants: Amy Penfield, Harry Walker

Accepted papers:
Nicolás Acosta García / Niels Fold, “Decolonising the gift of development. Fish farmers in Caquetá, Colombia”
Andrea Bravo Diaz, “Stories of networks that infrastructures tell”
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos, “Small scale gold mining and barren landscapes in Southern Ecuadorian Amazonia”
Stine Krøjer, “Oil Palms and Emptiness: The Clearcutting of Tree Spirits in Northeastern Ecuador”
Andrea Sempertegui, “Amazonian Women and Ecofeminists in Ecuador: A Partially Connected Allyship”

PANEL 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations

(This Panel is accepting paper proposals – Please communicate with organizers)

Abstract: This panel discusses indigenous children’s understandings of and engagement with the environment in which they grow up and its human and nonhuman inhabitants. The relationships of indigenous peoples to the environments they inhabit have become an increasingly visible area of study, owing to an interest in human–nonhuman entanglements and indigenous ways of knowing on the one hand, and to major transformations that indigenous communities are undergoing on the other – both of which are related to the global ecological crisis. Yet how do children come to know and navigate their communities, gardens, rivers, fields, or forests?  During childhood, we are socialized not only into becoming culturally competent members of our communities, but also into navigating the physical environment that provides the context for our upbringing. What are children’s trajectories through different spaces, and how do they learn how to navigate them?  How do they relate to human and nonhuman others that they encounter on their paths?  And how do they respond to transformations of these spaces in the face of developmental projects, expansion of roads into remote territories, urbanization, loss of habitat to deforestation, or forced migration due to violence or environmental degradation?  Different and rapidly changing contexts often demand or presuppose alternative and possibly competing sets of knowledge and skills.  How do children acquire these and put them to use? How might different and changing environments afford different patterns of interaction among children and with caregivers?  And what are the meanings that particular places and locations have or acquire for children?  We seek contributions that address these and related questions.

Organizer: Jan David Hauck (

Chair: Giovanna Bacchiddu

Accepted papers:
Giovanna Bacchiddu, “In dialogue with rural schoolchildren: constructing knowledge between art and life in Chiloé, Chile”
Daisy Stevens Rojas, “Youth driving change: Environmental preservation, microeconomics and political discourse with indigenous communities in Costa Rica”

WORKSHOP: Amerindian Linguistic Natures

Abstract: This workshop aims at exploring “natures of language” in indigenous collectives of Lowland South America, following the approach we have developed in the 2018 Language & Communication special issue “Language in the Amerindian Imagination.” In the workshop we will discuss the question “what language is” as it pertains to particular ethnographic contexts. Foregrounding local conceptions of practices such as conversations, songs, wailing, narratives, oratory, music and the like, usually understood to be instances of more abstract and all-encompassing notions such as “language,” “discourse,” or “communication,” our aim is to explore possible ontological variation between these. We are particularly interested in their relationship to concepts such as nature, culture, or humanity, where ontological difference has already been amply discussed. In the Western intellectual tradition, the emergence of “language” as autonomous domain was intimately tied to its mediating role in the separation of nature/nonhumans and society/culture/humanity (as discussed by Bauman and Briggs, with reference to Latour’s work on the modern constitution). Ethnographies from the Americas provide evidence of alternative ontologies (sensu Viveiros de Castro) as well as discourse practices that defy the privileging of symbolic, denotational, or referential aspects of discourse, challenging its separation from the realms of practice, the body, the nonhuman, and the material, and the universality of an all-encompassing “nature of language” underlying variation. If the latter is an artifact of the Western imaginary, then how do Amerindian intellectual traditions make sense of different discursive phenomena and compare or translate between linguistic forms?

Guilherme Orlandini Heurich (
Jan David Hauck (

Accepted papers:
Christopher Ball, “Enaction in Amazonia”
Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino, “Verbal arts and speculative knowledge in Amazonia”
Laura Graham, “Ontology or Ideology? Considerations of the natures of language among Native Amazonians”
Jan David Hauck, “On the emergence of language”
Guilherme Orlandini Heurich, “Voice and voicing in Amazonia”

Independent papers

(To be assigned to a Thematic Panel or Session)

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, “The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Peru”
John Hemming, “Relations between the Villas Boas brothers and anthropologists in the Xingu, 1947-1975″

–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2013), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).