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Ecologies of Mind

27. April – 30. April 2023 

Bien­ni­al Meet­ing of the Soci­ety of Psy­cho­log­i­cal Anthro­pol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of San Diego, CA

Please find the fol­low­ing CFP for the upcom­ing SPA Bien­ni­al Meeting.

SPA Bien­ni­al Meeting
Uni­ver­si­ty of San Diego
San Diego, CA; April 27–30, 2023

Call for Papers: Ecolo­gies of Mind

Psy­cho­log­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gy is root­ed in recog­ni­tion of the social con­sti­tu­tion of mind, self and per­son. Gre­go­ry Bateson’s con­cept of an ecol­o­gy of mind point­ed to ways of think­ing about mind as sit­u­at­ed in both inter­per­son­al and larg­er social sys­tems. This eco­log­i­cal per­spec­tive pro­vides a shared geneal­o­gy and bridge between the con­cerns of psy­cho­log­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gy and con­tem­po­rary approach­es in cog­ni­tive sci­ence, which see human expe­ri­ence as emerg­ing from embod­ied, enact­ed, embed­ded and extend­ed social processes.

The recog­ni­tion that human psy­chol­o­gy has its own ecol­o­gy and dynam­ics that depend on local nich­es and net­works as well as on wider social sys­tems is urgent­ly need­ed to help us address the most press­ing chal­lenges of our time: cli­mate change and eco­cide; sys­temic racism and struc­tur­al vio­lence; social polar­iza­tion and the ero­sion of trust in civ­il soci­ety and demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions; and the col­o­niza­tion of imag­i­na­tion and epis­temic chaos cre­at­ed by com­mer­cial and polit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion of social media.

This meet­ing will explore ecolo­gies of mind in diverse domains and at mul­ti­ple scales from local com­mu­ni­ties to plan­e­tary net­works, from embod­ied real­i­ties to vir­tu­al worlds. We invite papers and pre­sen­ta­tions that engage with the endur­ing ques­tions of psy­cho­log­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gy and cur­rent social, polit­i­cal, and exis­ten­tial predica­ments. We espe­cial­ly encour­age inter­dis­ci­pli­nary work that bridges anthro­pol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, psy­chi­a­try, and allied dis­ci­plines to explore the dynam­ics of healthy and patho­log­i­cal ecolo­gies of mind.

The 2023 SPA meet­ing will include a joint con­fer­ence day with the Soci­ety for the Study of Psy­chi­a­try and Cul­ture (SSPC), an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group devot­ed to clin­i­cal issues in cul­ture and men­tal health. Long await­ed by both soci­eties, this day of over­lap is aimed at fos­ter­ing cross-dis­ci­pline engage­ment. This joint day will allow SPA mem­bers, researchers, and prac­ti­tion­ers to dis­cuss cross-cut­ting inter­ests and the under­pin­nings and con­se­quences of social expe­ri­ence for men­tal health, psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, and heal­ing. The over­all theme of the SSPC meet­ing will be “Prac­tices that Harm/Practices that Heal.” For the joint day, we are espe­cial­ly inter­est­ed in show­cas­ing work in psy­cho­log­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gy and cul­tur­al psy­chi­a­try that address­es issues of heal­ing and transformation.

The reg­is­tra­tion por­tal will go live in the next cou­ple of weeks. Please watch for the announcement!

Abstract Sub­mis­sion:
The Abstract Sub­mis­sion por­tal will open in ear­ly Jan­u­ary and close in late Jan­u­ary. Please watch for that announce­ment as well. **In light of the rel­a­tive­ly short win­dow for sub­mis­sions, we rec­om­mend prepar­ing your abstracts in advance!**

Rebec­ca Selig­man, PhD
Asso­ciate Chair, Depart­ment of Anthropology
Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Anthro­pol­o­gy and Glob­al Health
Fac­ul­ty Fel­low, Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Research
North­west­ern University
With respect and grat­i­tude I acknowl­edge that I live and work on the lands of the 3 Fires–Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi.