The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


Upcoming events

    • Friday, April 03, 2020
    • 5:00 PM
    • Sunday, April 05, 2020
    • 2:00 PM
    • Tivoli Station, Auraria Campus, 900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204, USA

    The HigPlains Society for

    Applied Anthropology

    Call For Papers!

    Download Here!

    For the 2020 Spring Conference

    Deadline for Abstracts: February 15th, 11:59pm

    Conference Dates: April 3-5, 2020

    “The Role of Theory in

    Applied Anthropology" 

    Our 2020 Spring Conference asks for attention to an often overlooked dimension of applied anthropology— the role of theory in applied work. As researchers, behind the questions we ask and the epistemologies we embrace, there is an exploration of theory. What you ask, how you ask it, and what you make of the answers will inform and be informed by how you place your research within a theoretical framework. Theory can be particularly important in communicating epistemologies across the social sciences, and in acknowledging how particular facets of your inquiry fit into the discourse within your diiscipline.

    Yet despite the importance of rigorous exploration of the role of theory within research and applied work, these discussions often receive only superficial attention in comparison to conversations about methods and ethnographic findings. In this conference, we aim to acknowledge and question the ways in which our engagement with theory shapes these other aspects of our work, and to consider how methods, analysis, outputs, and outcomes are all formulated within a theoretical context. Do our theoretical perspectives inform a fundamental positionality of our inquiry, does the context of our inquiry flow naturally to theory selection, or do we utilize some iterative middle way? Indeed, are our theoretical orientations always an explicit part of our awareness, or do implicit theories shape our engagement through unconscious distortions, biases, focuses, our selective (in-)attention?

    This Spring, we invite presentations that reflect on the role of both explicit and implicit theories in your research, including how theory informs the design, implementation, and analysis of your work. We also invite presentations that consider the relationship between research, theory, and praxis. Additionally, we are interested in presentations that explore research and applied projects as a means for producing theory, or address questions of theoretical application and knowledge production in various settings, including non-academic spaces. Papers can be centered around your work or reesearch, or centered entirely upon the role of theory within applied anthropology.

    As always, we also welcome students, researchers, and professionals to attend the conference, participate in our activities, and share their work with our community even if it does not fit the theme of the conference. We are enthusiastic about including presenters from all sub-disciplines of anthropology and from related disciplines, as we feel that interdisciplinary communication and collaboration is deeply valuable and promotes scholarly growth.


    Contact: Please send proposals via email to Josef Garrett at

    Your proposal must include the following:

    Personal Information:

    Include your name, contact information, and any relevant academic or professional affiliations.

    Title and Abstract:

    Provide your paper or presentation title and 100-200 word abstract.

    Presentation Type:

    Our standard presentation time slots are 45 minutes, including time for questions and discussion following your presentation. Please indicate if you are interested in a longer (or shorter) time slot, and if you will need any particular equipment for your presentation.

    Additionally, we will be happy to work with you on alternative approaches to presenting your material. For example, you may propose a panel, roundtable discussion, a debate, a workshop, an activity of some sort, a session featuring film or music, or a performance.

    Student Travel Scholarship Award

    HPSfAA offers an annual $200 Student Travel Award which can assist students in covering the cost of travel to the Spring Conference. This award is open both to students who are presenting at the conference, and to students who would like to attend the conference without presenting.

    The application is available here in pdf form.

    Please email completed applications to by February 15th, 2020.

    Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. 

    Thank you and See You Soon!

    Conference Schedule

    April 3:   Presentations (9am-5pm) and Social Hour

    April 4:   Presentations (9am-5pm) and Social Hour      

    April 5:   Presentations (9am-1pm)     

    Suggested Lodging Options

    Springhill Suites, 1190 Auraria Parkway, Downtown Denver

    The Curtis Hotel, 1405 Curtis St, Downtown Denver

    The Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th Ave, Downtown Denver

    The Crawford Hotel, 1701 Wynkoop St, Downtown Denver

    For attendees looking for cozier options, consider Airbnb.

    Which has over 100+ rentals located in the adjacent La Alma-Lincoln Park Neighborhood, just South of Auraria Campus. Where the conference will be centered and is conveniently located next to the RTD's Light Rail system and to Downtown Denver, Capital Hill, and Baker

    Full Conference Registrants will receive a complimentary HPSfAA swag. Additional HPSfAA merchandise will be available for purchase.

Past events

Thursday, September 19, 2019 2019 HPSfAA Fall Retreat at Ghost Ranch Retreat Center
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2019 HPSfAA Annual Spring Conference
Thursday, September 27, 2018 2018 HPSfAA Fall Retreat at Ghost Ranch Retreat Center
Thursday, April 26, 2018 2018 HPSfAA Annual Spring Conference
Thursday, September 21, 2017 Ghost Ranch 2017 Fall Retreat
Thursday, April 27, 2017 2017 Annual Spring Conference
Thursday, September 22, 2016 Ghost Ranch 2016 Retreat
Thursday, April 21, 2016 2016 Annual Meeting
Thursday, September 24, 2015 Ghost Ranch 2015 Retreat
Thursday, April 23, 2015 2015 Annual Meeting
Thursday, September 25, 2014 Ghost Ranch 2014 Retreat
Friday, April 18, 2014 2014 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 04, 2013 Ghost Ranch 2013 Retreat
Thursday, March 21, 2013 2013 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 05, 2012 Ghost Ranch 2012 Retreat
Thursday, April 19, 2012 2012 Annual Meeting
Friday, September 30, 2011 Ghost Ranch 2011 Retreat
Friday, April 15, 2011 2011 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 01, 2010 Ghost Ranch 2010 Retreat
Thursday, April 22, 2010 2010 Annual Meeting

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