Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAS has decided to go forward with an online conference for 2021.

Below is an excerpt from the AAS2021 website which explains some of the key foci for the upcoming conference:

While we don’t have an overarching conference theme (another first for the AAS), we see AAS2021 as the perfect vehicle for launching and showcasing the AAS First Nations initiative, which the Executive Committee has been developing over the past two years. Members of the AAS Executive, led by Marcus Barber and Ute Eickelkamp, convened conversations with Indigenous colleagues Suzi Hutchings, Julie Andrews, Suzanne Ingram, and Gretchen Stolte about how to make the AAS more inclusive for First Nations people, something which many in our membership have been calling for over the years. Responding to our colleagues’ recommendations, and under the guidance of Associate Professor Suzi Hutchings, AAS President Elect and the first Indigenous AAS President, we have taken steps towards this goal, including further drafting an Acknowledgment of Sovereignty for the Society’s website and journal, and commissioning First Nations American anthropologist Gretchen Stolte to organise a series of conference panels with First Nation scholars from Australia and around the world working in anthropology and related fields. Dr Stolte is also compiling a bibliography of anthropological work by First Nations authors for the AAS website, which will be a resource for those of us seeking to foreground First Nations scholarship in our own writing and referencing. We will launch this resource at the conference, with hopes that it will continue to grow in coming years.

It was in this spirit that the Executive Committee approached Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson to deliver the AAS Distinguished Lecture as part of the AAS2021 program. Professor Moreton-Robinson started her undergraduate career majoring in anthropology at ANU before shifting to sociology to complete her honours degree and then eventually working in departments of women’s studies, justice studies and Indigenous studies. Professor Moreton-Robinson is a Goenpul woman of Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) with maternal ties to Yuggera, Turrabul and Kabi Kabi lands in South East Queensland. She is currently Elder Scholar in Residence and Professor of Indigenous Research at RMIT University, Melbourne. She served as the Director of the National Indigenous Research Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), as Chairperson of the inaugural nominations Committee and as a Board Member of the Native American Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), as an executive member of National, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education (NATSIHEC), as President of the Australian Critical Whiteness Studies Association, and as a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS); she also founded the International eJournal of Critical Indigenous Studies. The global reach of Professor Moreton-Robinson’s academic work was recognised last year when she became the first Indigenous honorary fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences appointed outside the USA and in the same year she became a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. Her work on race, gender, power, and Indigeneity presents provocations for the discipline of anthropology. We see the AAS Distinguished Lecture as not just a platform for celebrating the discipline of anthropology but also for fostering challenging conversations about the discipline’s boundaries, histories, and paradigms.