Seeking Symposium Proposals for Anthropology Section Scientific Program

Source: Teresa Wilson, PhD, Section Secretary

The Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) invites you to submit symposium proposals for the upcoming annual meeting with the theme "Justice for All." The meeting will take place February 2024 in Denver, Colorado.

We are seeking original and thought-provoking symposium proposals that showcase the latest research, advancements, and challenges in the field of forensic anthropology. Symposium proposals could be centered on the theme of "Justice for All" and may address how forensic anthropology contributes to the pursuit of justice in legal, humanitarian, and societal contexts.

Justice for all, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or any other factor that leads to bias or discrimination.

Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

  • Advances in forensic anthropology techniques and methodologies
  • The role of forensic anthropology in mass disaster and humanitarian contexts
  • Forensic anthropology in legal contexts, including issues related to identity, violence, and human rights violations
  • The ethics of forensic anthropology practice and research
  • The intersection of forensic anthropology and equitability, including racial and ethnic disparities


Please submit your symposium proposal to the Anthropology Program Chair, Teresa Wilson (, by June 15, 2023. Notification of acceptance will be sent by July 1, 2023.

Symposium proposals serve as a curation of podium presentations overseen by moderators and a discussion at the end, if appropriate. There is currently no mechanism at the AAFS annual meeting to have poster symposia. The symposium proposal should contain the following information:

  1. Title of the symposium
  2. Organizer/submitter's e-mail address and affiliation, and the names and affiliations of any co-organizers
  3. Full names and email addresses of two session moderators
  4. A short abstract (250 word maximum) describing the content and purpose of the symposium. This paragraph will not be published in the AAFS proceedings, but it is helpful to reviewers to understand the goals and vision of the symposium.
  5. Full names (spell out first names) and affiliations of the symposium participants, and the titles of their presentations. Number each presentation and list all titles and authors in the order of appearance.
  6. A statement of 200 words or less, briefly describing the diversity of session presenters, such as how they offer a balanced representation of the topic, institutional affiliation, career stage, ethnicity, and gender.

Use the following format for symposium participants:

Presentation 1:  Title. Author1 last name, full first name, (Affiliation); Author2 as for Author1; etc.

Presentation 2 – n: as for Presentation 1

Discussant: Last name, first name spelled out (Affiliation)

For example:
Presentation 1: The Impact of British Biometry and Race Studies on the Origins of Forensic Anthropology in the United States. Nicholas Passalacqua (Western Carolina University); Iris Clever (University of Chicago)

Presentation 2: 50 Years in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). John Williams (Western Carolina University); Katherine Kolpan (University of Idaho)

Presentations 3-n: as above

Discussant: Buikstra, Jane E. (Arizona State University)

Each year, the program committee will accept a maximum  of four (4) symposiumproposals as part of the scientific session. All symposia can have a maximum  of eight (8)  presentations. If organizers wish to have a discussant, the discussant will use one of the presentation time slots. All discussants are limited to 15 minutes.


The program committee (chair and co-chair) as well as one anonymous peer reviewer will review and rank submitted symposia. The following criteria will be considered:

  1. Potential impact on and contribution to forensic anthropology
  2. Cohesiveness of the topic and suggested authors/presentations
  3. Diversity of presenters/presentations

Remember, acceptance of the symposium does not guarantee acceptance of the individual abstracts; these abstracts are subject to the same review and submission deadlines as are all other abstracts. Please note that speakers in any accepted symposia are required to register and pay a basic registration feeafter abstract notifications are received. Symposium organizers should make any invited speakers aware of this registration requirement when soliciting speakers for the AAFS scientific sessions.


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