CFP: Materialities and Movements in a Changing East Asia (Anthropology News, SEAA section)

Aaron Su's picture

The Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) column in Anthropology News is excited to invite submissions for a new curated series: “Materialities and Movements in a Changing East Asia.” The breadth of this theme encourages a variety of contributions based on members’ original ethnographic research. Submissions can take the form of short essays (up to 1600 words and 3 images) and photo essays (up to 600 words and 8 images). 

From the COVID-19 pandemic to contemporary geopolitical contests in East Asia, the circulation and management of materials – from commodities and viruses to artifacts and waste – continue to animate ethical and political questions that the region faces today. Tracking the circulation, distribution, and proliferation of materials across spaces can reveal the production of novel social worlds; the mechanisms of power that are engendered to control material movements; the work of giving care and value to things beyond their intended meanings and lifecycles; and the ecologies of human and non-human entanglements.

We invite scholars to explore the following and other related questions in this curated series: How can ethnography capture the rich and varied material landscapes of East Asia, replete with different textures, shapes, sounds, and forms? How do people mobilize sensoria to make sense of social, historical, and political changes in meaningful ways? How are understandings of place, personhood, and time constituted through material objects? What strategies are employed to make things move smoothly, or interrupt such moves, in regulatory processes? What critical insights can be generated from East Asia toward issues that are shared at a global scale? And how might one mobilize the complex entanglements between things and beings for both critique and repair? We invite contributions from scholars who are involved with a broad range of ethnographic research, from archival to digital, media, in-person, and remote fieldwork.

If you are interested, please send your 150-250 word abstract to Contributing Editors Aaron Su ( and Jieun Cho ( by December 15. For a photo essay, please also include 2-3 sample images. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, and articles in this series will be published in 2022. We look forward to receiving your ideas!

Anthropology News aims to provide a vibrant venue for creative, original, and accessible anthropological scholarship. We publish articles from members that address contemporary issues with original ethnographic research. Scholars of all stages currently possessing or anticipating SEAA membership are encouraged to participate. To learn more about what we publish, please check out previous articles here.