44TH Annual Conference of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc.

(UGAT/Anthropological Association of the Philippines)

Host: Marinduque State College

26-28 October 2022

Kapuluan: Anthropology in the Archipelago

Islands are important sites and spaces of convergence, connection, and innovation. As ethnoscapes, islands are where diverse localities, and national and cultural identities are formed. Hence, thinking of, conceiving, and even reclaiming our land as an archipelago and island-nation open up space for productive conversations about ourselves. 

With the theme ‘Kapuluan: Anthropology in the Archipelago,’ the 44th UGAT Conference intends to be a venue for a close examination of the historical, social, cultural, economic, and geographic factors that contribute to the unique ‘islandness’ of the Philippines and many island-nations across the globe. Through Anthropology’s four fields – biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and sociocultural anthropology – the Conference explores the material interconnectedness of peoples, islands, and the seas. It examines the complex, dynamic, and historical processes of cultural exchange, migration, trade, and globalization between and among the Philippine islands and its neighbors spanning Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and how these processes condition and contour sociocultural processes and identity formation in distinctly relevant ways. The Conference also seeks to explore the emerging digital infrastructures and technologies that bridge us to the Filipino diaspora in Asia and the rest of the world, as well as filmic and popular cultural representations of ‘islandness.’

While islands have played a significant role in early anthropological research, the ways in which they were examined were largely through a colonial and terracentric gaze. In contrast, this Conference intends to foster meaningful and critical conversations about island-nations in flux through reflexive and situated practices of anthropology; it is, therefore, a serious inquiry regarding the archipelago from and by the islanders themselves.

Proposals regarding the following topics are welcome:

·     Theoretical and/or comparative studies of Island Cultures

·     Popular cultural representations of islands and ‘islandness’

·     The cultural politics of Island Studies

·     Geo-politics in Island Southeast Asia and beyond 

·     Migration and diaspora to and from Islands

·     Contested cultural and geographical boundaries in the Archipelago

·     Mapping the Archipelago

·     Archipelagic ethnicity and identity

·     Islandness and local/national identity

·     Island cities and city archipelagos

·     Writing and researching the Archipelago

·     Island bio-cultural ecosystems

·     Embodied cultural ecologies

·     Disaster and Climate Change

·     Emotional and cultural topologies of climate change and global warming

·     Indigenous knowledge and management systems on ancestral lands and waters

·     Indigenous and local knowledge of climate

·     Coastal and Island Archaeology

·     Multi-species Anthropology

·     Digital and media cultures

·     Folk arts and traditional crafts

·     Languages and dialects 

·     Folklore and oral literature

·     Cultural heritage and tourism

·     Religion and spiritual beliefs and practices

·     Gender and sexuality studies

·     Home and displacement

·     Ethnographies on seafaring

·     Fishing communities and cultures

·     Political cultures

·     Ocean cultures and connections

Proposals that do not fall under any of the identified topics above may be given consideration.


·       Submissions must use the Submission Form which includes an abstract (250 words) written in a style that is accessible to non-academic audiences.

·       Submissions are due on June 13, 2022.

·       Decisions on submission proposals will be issued thru email by July 2022.

In consideration of public health measures, the conference may have a blended format (i.e., virtual and in-person mode). The conference organizers take the safety and health of conference participants very seriously, and over the next several months we will be providing more details regarding this.

For further information, please e-mail us at or visit our official website at

Please also like our Facebook page for updates.


Marinduque State College


Randy T. Nobleza, PhD

Alfred F. Pawlik, PhD

Noreen H. Sapalo, MA

Call for Proposals – 44th UGAT.pdf