The Revolutionary Potential of the Social Sciences

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The Revolutionary Potential of the Social Sciences: Transforming Possibilities
82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA)
March 22-26, 2022
James H. McDonald, Program Chair


Our natural and social worlds are undergoing tectonic transformations. In confronting these challenges, the social sciences, and their revolutionary potential, must frame, interpret, and understand the rapidly emerging contexts of new possibilities. What is this revolutionary potential? It is the ability to practice varied roles in research, application, and activism that build bold and transformative ideas and methods.

Anthropologists and allied social scientists engage with the world, full of complex and often colliding ideas, values, practices, structures, and systems.  We challenge ourselves to gain enduring and holistic understandings that advance research and application. It is indeed a daunting task, given the resounding social and environmental problems of our time, including: human-driven climate change; mass displacement and migration; deep public health challenges and pandemics; rapidly shifting political orientations toward authoritarianism; the advent of entrenched ethno-nationalisms; reactions to these political dynamics through social and racial justice movements; new and ongoing violent conflicts; poverty and global economic crises; tremendous realignments of our major social institutions. 

We invite you to join us for the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) to explore and define the many potentials of applied anthropology and other social sciences.  The meeting will be hybrid in format, with onsite meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah, complemented by online participation. We will celebrate and engage local communities, and extend our efforts to support and involve global colleagues. We will ask questions fundamental to a social science that seeks to be revolutionary, such as: What are we for? What is our place in the world? How do we work, and for whom? How do we best communicate and engage? We will address these questions, and more, in the context of SfAA’ s efforts to support practitioners, scholars, and researchers committed to racial and social justice, diversity and inclusion, and relevant application of anthropology and kindred social sciences. 

Come join together in Salt Lake City (or hybrid online), where life’s elevated. Nestled at the foot of the Western Rockies, you will be treated to breathtaking views from a booming tech hub. The city serves as a gateway to national monuments and scenic byways. The downtown has a thriving arts scene, and iconic film industry locales—Park City and Sundance—are nearby destinations. We look forward to seeing you in the “Beehive State,” known for its incredible innovation, industriousness, and hospitality.

McDonald.jpgProgram Chair, James H. McDonald, University of Montevallo (, 435-704-1524
Annual Meeting and Awards Coordinator: Don Stull (; 785-764-8967
Society for Applied Anthropology (; 405-843-5113

©Society for Applied Anthropology 

P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 •