Call for Papers 


1 APRIL 2016

Sixth Biennial Conference of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture

ASAC 2016: Building Communities, Changing Discourses

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar Downtown Hotel, 27-29 October 2016

This conference, sponsored by The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture, looks at stories, histories, and life experiences of adoption that deal with forming new communities and new discourses—about family, transnationalism, origins, law, ethics, race and ethnicity, foster care, assisted reproduction, and much more.  We encourage discussion of communities and discourses that adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, and social workers; creative writers, graphic artists, and filmmakers; and scholars and activists create and participate in. We welcome national and international perspectives as well as local ones, and we look forward to opportunities to explore the rich history of adoption community building, research and activism both in the Twin Cities area and elsewhere.

We are particularly interested in intersectional, interdisciplinary, and boundary-crossing discussions and welcome conversations from any perspective on the subject of adoption broadly understood.

We invite proposals for papers and panels that:

  • Study the dynamics between adoption communities and other reproductive, family, and caring structures from historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological, legal, religious, political, racialized, gendered, LGBTQ, and/or psychological perspectives;
  • Study the discourses employed in narratives of the lives of adoptees, foster alumni, adoptive parents, foster parents and/or birthparents, and how these discourses may be seen as innovative for their time period;
  • Analyze literary, cinematic, dramatic, musical, visual, dance, popular culture, or performance art approaches to new ways (whether present, past, or future) of conceiving community in adoption, foster care, or other nonstandard means of family formation or child care;
  • Promote community between people positioned differently with regard to adoption because of their life experience, profession, and/or discipline.

We expect that papers will run no longer than 20 minutes and that proposals for 75-minute panels will allow at least 20 minutes for discussion.

We also invite creative presentations (writing, film, drama, graphic arts, other media, etc.) on the conference theme in relation to adoption.

If you would like to be considered as a presenter at the Loft Literary Center event, please send no more than five pages of your published work to the event’s curator, Shannon Gibney, at by the conference submission deadline.

Please send 200-word proposals for papers or samples of creative work with a cv or resume and links if you are working in visual or multimedia, to

Please use your family name in the electronic file name of your proposal, cv, and/or writing sample.

Proposal deadline EXTENDED: 1 APRIL 2016.

If you are a graduate student and would like to be considered for a travel grant award (maximum value $500), please indicate this on your proposal and submit an expanded proposal of 1200-1500 words. Awards will be given based on the quality of the paper proposal, cost of travel, contribution of papers to the scope of the conference, and available funds.