University of Gothenburg
Photo: Illustrator: Jonas Gustavsson

SANT Conference 2022

The theme of the 2022 edition of the Annual Conference of the Swedish Anthropological Association (SANT) is Futures. The future is not what it used to be. Is the future worth remembering, or is one better off just forgetting about it? For this conference, we invite discussions on the inclusive theme of futures, whether uncertain, desired or dreaded.

Dates, venue and registration

28-30 April 2022, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

The conference will be held at Annedalseminariet (Seminariegatan 1A) and Linnésalen (Seminariegatan 1B) at Campus Linné. See building 1A and 1B in the picture below:


Picture that marks out the different buildings at the grounds of Campus Linné.
Map of Campus Linné.
Photo: School of Global Studies

Road map from the conference venue at Annedalseminariet to the restaurant Silvis (Nordhemsgatan 18) where the conference dinner will take place on 29 April.


  • Extended deadline panels: 1 February, 2022
  • Extended deadline for papers: 22 February, 2022
  • Registration: 1 April, 2022


Follow this link to register your payment and confirming your participation for SANT2022. Registration is open until 1 April 2022, please make sure to register before then.

Please read through the information carefully when registering and note that the conference dinner on Friday night 29 April is paid as a separate ticket.


Conference fees:

  • SANT members, PhD holders: 300 SEK
  • SANT members, PhD and MA students/degree: 300 SEK
  • Non-members, PhD holders: 500 SEK
  • Non-members, PhD and MA students/degree: 400 SEK

SANT membership fees:

  • PhD holders: 200 SEK
  • PhD and MA students/degree: 100 SEK

Dinner cost: 430 SEK


SANT is a membership based association. Most members pay their membership at the time of the annual conference. However, we do have participants who are not eligible to be members. Please examine the membership guidelines and choose your payment category accordingly.

Members of SANT are those who:
a)      Have a licentiate or PhD degree or of equivalent competence in Cultural/Social Anthropology.
b)      Have been accepted to a PhD program in Cultural/Social Anthropology.
c)      Have been accepted to a Master program or course or have completed a Master degree in Cultural/Social Anthropology.
d)      Are active as Anthropologists in Sweden and have the competence or equivalence of one of categories a-c (and through the formal approval of the SANT Board).

Financial support for PhD and Master students

Thanks to a generous grant from The Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG), SANT will be able to financially support PhD and Master students’ attendance at the annual conference in Gothenburg 2022, provided that the students present a paper and/or organize a panel. Please see additional information and reimbursement form in the document attached below.


For contributions and questions please contact us on:

About the conference

The future is not what it used to be. Is the future worth
remembering, or is one better off just forgetting about it?

Current debates on crises such as climate change or the pandemic have forcefully brought the future into focus. Predictions, forecasting and speculation, whether regarding new imminent lockdowns, or the long-term endurance of humanity or the planet have become commonplace, both in public discourse and as part of managing our everyday lives. The future is often imagined as a singular chain of chronologically ordered events, and as located away from ourselves; as that which is still to come. Yet, anthropologists have long recognised that futures are multiple and heterogeneous; they are conditioned by the imaginations, material configurations and actions of the present and they exist here and now, as current ways of being. Perhaps, to borrow from a recent text by Tsing et al, futures are best thought of as "patchy" – unevenly conditioned, imagined and enacted across the globe, evoking questions about the scope for life plans and futures as something we make.
For this conference, we invite discussions on the inclusive theme of futures, whether uncertain, desired or dreaded. We welcome contributions that add to our understanding of futures as always situated, and as involving specific forms of cultural understanding, knowledge, power, and resources.

  • Whose temporal frameworks and visions of the future get heard, and whose are silenced?
  • Who gets to live in whose futures, and how are humans and nonhumans differentially impacted by how they are imagined?
  • How does the language of futures open some avenues for action while closing off others?
  • Finally, how can anthropologists, in Hannerz’ words, participate in writing futures, and expand our repertoire of what is possible to hope for?

We look forward to panels and papers that offer ethnographic perspectives on how pluralised futures are lived, made within and have consequences for a myriad of contexts and ways of being.
The conference will have three tracks:

  1. Culture/Futures, where we gather contributions on futures and futurity as socio-cultural phenomena, for example how futures are imagined, communicated, enacted or experienced, whether as hope, fear, possibility or inevitability.
  2. Anthropology/Futures, we will collect contributions that deal with what anthropologists can do to study, affect or shape futures, including those that discuss the future of anthropology itself or methodological issues.
  3. Open track for contributions that focus on topics other than futures.

We now invite everybody to present either panels or single papers in the different tracks. If you wish to propose a panel it is an advantage if you already know of at least three committed papers. It is also possible to propose single papers for each of the tracks. Panels will be given 2 hours and papers 20 minutes, unless panel organizers decide otherwise.

Please send a 250 word abstract of your panel proposal or paper with title and contact details to Submissions can be made in either English or Swedish. Speaking of uncertain futures, the plan is for the conference to be wholly on campus, but if things change, we will let you know.
The rest is, as they say, futures. Welcome!

Keynote speakers

Sarah Pink - Life at the Edge of the Future

Professor of Design and Emerging Technologies, Monash University
Director, Emerging Technologies Research Lab
Leader Transport Mobilities Focus Area and Co-Leader People Programme,
ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society
Associate Director (Consumers) Monash Energy Institut.

Alpa Shah - Why Write: In a Climate Against Intellectual Dissidence

Professor in Anthropology, London School of Economics
Leader of the LSE International Inequalities Institute ‘Global Economies of Care’ research theme.

Portrait picture of Sarah Pink, dark long hair, blue eyes, armes crossed and smiling. Blue background.
Sarah Pink, professor of Design and Emerging Technologies, Monash University.
Portait picture of Alpa Shah, close-up, big smile, dark hair and brown eyes.
Alpa Shah, Professor in Anthropology, London School of Economics.


Deadline to submit papers was 22 February.

Conveners: Lisa Åkesson, Jörgen Hellman and Signe Askersjö (School of Global studies, University of Gothenburg)

Diversity is continuously increasing and arguably represents an expected future. At the same time, there is still a tendency in current political and academic debates to fall down the rabbit hole of ethnicity. That is, even if diversity has become a commonplace normality in most people’s everyday life, debates tend surrealistically to end up in the same place, namely, in explaining a diverse array of societal issues through the lenses of ethnicity and/or integration. In the last years, there has been an influx of new concepts and perspectives in academia aiming to make sense of the current societal condition and challenging mainstream conceptualisations. Concepts such as “de-migranticization” and “the post-migrant condition” have gained significant influence. In contributing to this development, this panel asks empirical, methodological, and conceptual questions about new ways to research the contemporary and future condition/society. How can we better understand inclusion and exclusion in societies where the division into a majority and minority population is obsolete? How are solidarities and discords formed beyond mainstream ethnic and cultural categorisations? How can we develop methodological approaches for exploring everyday heterogeneity? What kind of conceptual tools are required to analyse present and coming conditions?

This panel invites contributors to explore concepts, methods, and empirical perspectives that confront and challenge status quo research on ethnicity and integration, and that aim to find alternative ways to grapple with the contemporary and future condition.

Organizers: Environmental Research Group, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
Panel participants: Karin Ahlberg, Tomas Cole, Bengt G Karlsson, Ivana Macek, Andrew Hambis and Michael Mitchell

In an increasingly mobile and interconnected world, not only humans migrate; flora, fauna and microorganism are constantly moving and being moved through human infrastructures and because of global warming. Newly introduced species threaten to transform pathological and nutritional baselines in ways that fundamentally alter the demographic trajectories of both species, ecosystems and cultures. Alfred Crosby’s “Colombian Exchange” is a prime example of such phenomena, describing the transformative impact transatlantic mobility had upon American and Eurasian wildlife and culture. Today, it is estimated that more than 10 000 species are on the move through global shipping alone, and species mobility is now considered one of the largest threats to biodiversity, and through this paradigm, the UN and other organizations seek to rescue endemic and local ecosystems from the onslaught of new “invasive” species.But to onehandedly blame mobile flora, fauna and microorganisms for causing biodiversity loss, misconstrues the complexity of species mobility. Species have long migrated and changed the ecologies of their new habitats. Yet, global warming and infrastructural developments enable new species not only to move to new places but to thrive there. As they proliferate and alter commons in the future, no matter the scale of eradication attempts, some will stay on and become endemic in their new habitats.

This panel explores migrant species, ecologies and discourses on this phenomenon from anthropological and ethnographic perspectives, encouraging explorations that hold in abeyance normative notions of good or bad to engage critically with dominant biodiversity and nativism perspectives.

Convenor: TBC

Convener: Nicholas Waller (Gothenburg University). 

What does a host country mean to immigrants? Is it a place of refuge, a source of economic security, a place to settle and live freely and equally among others? Or is it a place of transit, an outpost for gathering resources, accessing new citizen privileges? What does a country mean by “integration policy” and what are the expected outcomes? This panel wishes to discuss and examine different perspectives of immigration and migration in relation to state concepts of integration by recognizing immigrant identities and living patterns as trans-national and in constant negotiation. Immigration policy and public discourse on integration and migration in Sweden and other Western countries are increasingly focused on integration as an assimilative process for newcomers in order to fit into society whereas the unassimilated are viewed as a problematic. Furthermore, debates seldom bring into account that foreign born persons also have ties and responsibilities to family at home or to a diasporic community, living trans-national lives and do not necessarily experience the life in the new country the only place to offer opportunity and self-development.

How do we as anthropologists then visualise and help interpret the concept and process of integration in our present-future society? What sort of experiences do immigrants have that negotiate their own identities between here (the host country) and there (the homeland)? Papers that provide perspectives on the trans-national reality of immigrant lives as they relate to concepts of integration are welcomed and of interest on a broad spectrum. They may consider for example public policy, remittances, cultural community norms, public debate, everyday practices, exclusion and segregation, parallel societies, etc.

Conveners: Asta Vonderau (M.L. Universität Halle-Wittenberg) and Susann Baez Ullberg (Uppsala University)

Processes of (de-)industrialization have created zones of structural changes as well as veiled pockets of technological devolution. Exhausted infrastructures, industrial ruins, scarred landscapes and depleted resources are the symptoms of a failed attempt to create a smooth surface for the mobility of technology and capital. The myth of modernity internalized technological progress as a teleological process and consequently ignored the fact that this progression was inherently accompanied by ruptures and toxic effects. In the current condition of late industrialism (Fortun 2012), experts and citizens around the world are looking for an answer to the question of what follows progress? What is the rubble remaining (Gordillo 2014) and how can wounds be healed and regenerated? How will life in the ruins of a damaged planet (Tsing 2017) be possible? As, for instance, scientific models for climate change mitigation are developed, political green deal programmes for successful transition to a post carbon era are envisioned. Technological solutions and public policies for a sustainable future are designed, negotiated and implemented, but how do such plans come about, who is included and who is not, and what are their social effects?

We invite papers that engage ethnographically and theoretically with the temporalities of late industrialism, more specifically in the discourses, practices, and technologies of anticipatory governance (Flyverbom & Garsten 2021) that are used by different social actors to make sustainable futures, that is, plans, policies, (mega)projects, and practices, and their everyday implementation in the face of climate change, energy transition and ecological strain.

Panel convenors and participants: Anthropology students from Stockholm University, Uppsala University, and Lund University.
Albin Arleskär (SU), Carolina Johnson (UU), Hossam Sultan (UU), Ida Norén (UU) Jasmine-Beatrice Hansén (UU) Laurine Palomba (LU), Martin Edström (UU), Michele Giacomini (SU), Rasmus Asshoff (SU), Rebecca Leon (SU).

As students of anthropology today will be its future practitioners, they have unique perspectives and questions pertaining to its future. Whether it concerns emerging subjects, trends, or concerns, students of anthropology have novel ideas and beliefs of how the discipline will, or should, change moving forward. They ask: How is anthropology adapting to include new areas and topics of concern? How are the curriculums taught in universities concerning themselves with emerging topics such as virtual space, audiovisuality, and multisensory perspectives? Can the discipline perhaps include studies that extends beyond a focus on humans? Outside the space academia itself, how can anthropology have a more active role in more everyday concerns, political debates, and social issues?

The aim of the panel will be to provide novel insights from current-day anthropology students about how we look at the trajectory of the discipline, and how we would like it to go. This will be done by referencing our individual thesis work, giving insight into the subjects that students concern themselves with today. By focusing on the student perspective, we aim to provide better insights of how the next generation of anthropologists hope to utilize anthropology’s unique perspectives and methods in the future. We propose to structure the panel into two sections: the first hour will be a discussion on new subjects and trends within the discipline, and the second half will focus on the role of anthropology in spaces outside of academia. The panel participants will change between the two sections so as to provide new perspectives.

Conveners: Dan Rosengren, Stefan Permanto and Anders Burman (School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University)

Indigenous peoples frequently find themselves affected by ideas and projects of development grounded in modernist understandings of the world. According to such understandings, most indigenous people need to develop more rational and economically efficient attitudes towards the social and physical surroundings to improve the prospect of a better future. Consequently, indigenous peoples’ own perspectives and understandings tend to be disqualified and treated by dominant agents as irrational and false. Simultaneously there are alternative tendencies in modernist societies that are opposed to hegemonic notions of progress. Advocates of such perspectives often hold forth romantic notions of indigenous peoples and their idealized notions produce images of indigenous societies that result in an exotification of the indigenous other. Confronting these images with actual realities, indigenous peoples are characterized as culturally spurious betraying their “proper heritage”. Challenging a situation where others try to determine their future, many indigenous peoples strive to free themselves from both varieties of the “coloniality of reality” to carve out spaces and routes into the future upon which to base their modernities according to how they understand reality. This panel aims to explore how indigenous peoples have responded to these different forms of Western modernism and how they understand modernity.

We welcome contributions that focus on how indigenous peoples experience development locally and how they present alternative routes to sustainable development and wellbeing founded on local ontologies and epistemologies.

Organizers: Antropologerna vid Linköpings universitet

Conveners: Christina Garsten (Professor of Social Anthropology, Principal of Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study) and Peter Mancina (PhD in Social Anthropology, Researcher, Stockholm University, Research Associate, University of Oxford).

Our contemporary predicament provides ample reasons for anxiety about near and far futures. The ongoing pandemic, the climate crisis, social unrest and political pressures across the world feed into our anticipations for the future. At an individual as well as organizational level, a great deal of effort is spent on imagining, forecasting, and attempting to manage and design futures. By way of anticipatory narratives, metrics, big data, and other ‘tools’, futures are constructed and reconfigured, negotiated and contested, confirmed and rejected. Intimately connected to these practices is the cultivation and inciting of a range of emotions, such as confidence, contentment, groundedness, hope, inspiration, excitement, and awe on the one hand, and on the other, fear, shame, agitation, impatience, impotence, overwhelm, and anxiety. Emotions are at once constitutive of, embedded in, and manipulated or instrumentalized by norms, ‘feeling rules’, and everyday social interactions, that are fashioned and regulated by social institutions, discourses, ideologies etc.

The panel invites papers engaging with social and organizational processes of imagining and designing ‘futures’ that focus upon the ‘tools’ and resources used in these processes and the ‘micropolitics of emotion’ that such processes, tools, and resources make possible. Theoretical as well as empirical papers are welcome.

Conveners: Marie Deridder (Forum for Africa Studies and the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University) and Anaïs Ménard (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

This panel explores hopes for the future from the perspective of grassroots activism in the Global South. Since the 2000s, development aid policies have followed strategies of empowerment of civil society actors, both as a counterbalance to State power and as a condition for democratization. This change has impacted local political subjectivities and the modalities of grassroots political action, including possibilities for advocacy, networking and scaling up. Concomitantly, the densification and complexification of situations of crises (including civil wars, jihadist movements, epidemics and the effects of climate change) have pushed international actors to redirect funds towards humanitarian and emergency aid, thereby forcing civil society actors to realign with new objectives imposed from the outside. This realignment occurs in contexts that have already experienced many decades of aid policies, leading to an endless circle of hope and disenchantment, and to narratives of ‘lost futures’ as the high expectations for countries’ development following independence collapsed. Civil society actors also bear the memory of past political struggles and grassroots engagement, which informs their vision for the future. This perspective contrasts with a form of occidental amnesia regarding the history of activism on the Global South. In this panel, we invite contributions that explore activist political subjectivities in postcolonial contexts. How are hope and activism articulated in present-day? How do activists reconciliate hopes in the future and decades of political disenchantment? How does this affect grassroots political action and strategies? How do actors engage with competing ‘models of development’ and political activism? 

Convenors:  Paula Uimonen ( Stockholm University) and Karsten Paerregaard (Gothenburg University)
Panel participants: Malene Brandshaug, Martine Greek, Karsten Paerregaard, Rasmus Rodineliussen and Paula Uimonen.

Water is essential for future life on our planet. But how do humans relate to and coexist with water to assure the sustainable wellbeing of life on earth? This panel invites papers that explore human engagements with water in different cultural contexts, focusing on water in relation to the future. Inspired by the recently published thematic issue on water in kritisk etnografi (2021), it aims to bring together anthropological studies of water in different parts of the world. Papers can deal with different types of water (fresh water, seawater, ice, rain etc), and different forms of human engagement with water (fishing, irrigation, resource management etc). Contributing to the Culture/Futures track of SANT 2022, papers should highlight how water futures are imagined, communicated, enacted or experienced, whether as hope, fear, possibility or inevitability. This is a hybrid panel with paper presentations in person and online. 

Moderator: Katarina Graffman
Medverkande: Haris Agic, Mathias Eriksson, Steffen Jöhncke, Lotta Björklund Larsen och Nicholas Waller.

Runt om i Sverige finns anställda på företag, myndigheter och andra organisationer som dagligen använder sina antropologiska kunskaper till allt från att lösa stora samhällsfrågor till att ge bättre vård, mer effektiv service, optimera tjänster eller produkter. Många vittnar om att det finns ett enormt behov av den typen av kunskap som antropologi kan bidra med, och att deras utbildning – vare sig det gäller en kandidatexamen eller en forskarutbildning – har gett dem ovärderliga insikter, perspektiv och metoder. Samtidigt är det alltför få som har kännedom om vad antropologi är och även om kännedom finns så passar antropologin ofta inte in i en värld som domineras av ekonomernas och ingenjörernas sifferstrukturer. Vad kan vi göra för att förändra detta?

Lyssna till ett spännande samtal mellan antropologer med erfarenhet från vitt skilda sektorer och arbetsformer, inklusive konsultuppdrag och anställningar inom affärsvärlden, offentlig förvaltning och ideella organisationer.


Day 1 - Thursday 28 April
  Plenary Room 220 Room 204 Room 303
12:00-13:00 Registration (AH)      
12:50-13:00 Welcome (AH)      
13:00-15:30   Panel 1 Panel 2 Panel 3
15:30-16:00 Coffee break (AH)      
16:00-17:30 Round table AA (AH)      
17:00-19:30 Mingle and SSAG (AH)      

AH: Assembly Hall, 5th floor Annedalseminariet
LS: Linnésalen, ground floor JMG-building, across the yard
Room 220: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 204: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 303: 3d floor Annedalseminariet

Day 2 - Friday 29 April
  Plenary Room 220 Room 204 Room 303
09:00-10:00 Keynote: Sarah Pink (room 220)      
10:00-10:30 Coffee break (AH)      
10:30-12:30   Panel 4 Panel 5 Panel 6
12:30-13:30 Lunch      
13:30-15:30   Panel 4 Panel 7 Panel 8
16:00-17:15 Keynote: Alpa Shah (LS)      
17:15-18:30 SANT Annual Meeting (LS)      
20:20 Conference dinner at Restaurant Silvis      

AH: Assembly Hall, 5th floor Annedalseminariet
LS: Linnésalen, ground floor JMG-building, across the yard
Room 220: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 204: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 303: 3d floor Annedalseminariet

Day 3 - Saturday 30 April
  Plenary Room 220 Room 204 Room 303
09:00-10:30   Panel 9 Panel 10 Panel 11
10:30-11:00 Coffee break (AH)      
11:00-13:00   Panel 9 Panel 10 Panel 11

AH: Assembly Hall, 5th floor Annedalseminariet
LS: Linnésalen, ground floor JMG-building, across the yard
Room 220: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 204: 2nd floor Annedalseminariet
Room 303: 3d floor Annedalseminariet

The organizer

The host, the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg, is an interdisciplinary department consisting of several social sciences, including peace and development research, human ecology, human rights and social anthropology. Anthropological research at the School of Global Studies builds on a tradition of detailed empirical fieldwork. At the core of our research are lived life, everyday praxis, and the workings of power.

Photo: Evelina Assarsson