The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


Upcoming events

    • Thursday, October 12, 2023
    • 5:00 PM
    • Sunday, October 15, 2023
    • 1:00 PM
    • Ghost Ranch Retreat Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico and online

    HPSfAA Fall Retreat 2023

    Call for Presentations

    Deadline: Friday, September 15th

    Thursday, October 12th through Sunday, October 15th

    Ghost Ranch Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico

    “A Literal and Figurative Retreat from

    Ordinary Work in Extraordinary Times”

      Historically our annual fall retreat at Ghost Ranch has been a time to intentionally leave behind the pomp of academic conferences to connect less formally as a community of practice made up of applied social scientists. We recognize our retreat not only as a space we create to hold our work, our reflections, and our support for one another, but also a symbolic and literal movement across time and space to be present in a specific point together as a community. We gather to sit together in the liminality of perpetually becoming.

      It has become a trope of the 2020s that we live in perpetually unprecedented times. Without minimizing the tumult and dynamism of our present, it is important to recognize that there was never a time when our experience as human beings has been without shattering events and system-wide instability. We are, as applied social scientists, far from harboring an illusion of an overly simplistic literal or figurative “good old days.” Instead, perhaps what has shifted is that now it is less likely that individuals can continue to imagine themselves to be untouched by changing times.

      This fall HPSfAA retreat, we seek to apply an anthropological eye to contemporary factors that have led to complex changes across our social, economic, political, and ecological systems. Often mythologized  colonial and settler-colonial individuals are no longer able to be fully removed from the consequences of the ecocide their societies have committed around the world for generations, which has upended any sense of predictable seasons or climate zones. Political upheaval and autocratic factions have sparked chaos and confusion  in countries formerly thought to be exempt from such concerns, and challenged our demarcation of political spaces. Artificial intelligence sits poised to displace the privileged space which the human mind was thought to hold as an essential actant in the creation and synthesis of art and information. While our technologies have grown to mimic our creativity as an algorithmic experiment, they likewise have undermined the predictability of the complex systems which govern hot and cold air or water currents, precipitation, and intensity of weather events. These shifts create ripples which add tumult to agriculture, public health, politics, and our economies. 

      These changes have also created a need for applied anthropologists to navigate new nuance in our work and to strategize for emergent changes on the horizon that will affect the communities we work with and within. We therefore  request presentations, workshops, and performances which speak to how the dynamism and change are addressed within your/our work. We also want to explicitly turn a critical eye to our concept of “retreat” and explore togetherwhat it means to step into a state of respite? As always, we also welcome presentations that are not related to the retreat theme.

      As an added bonus this year, we have the fortune of being able to leave the liminal space of our retreat to appreciate perhaps the most iconic liminality—a solar eclipse. This stellar event will be visible only a couple of hours away from Ghost Ranch, and we will be encouraging a “breakout session” on Saturday morning to view it.

    Thank you,

    Fall Retreat Planning Committee

    Lucor Jordan, President HPSfAA

    To Submit A Presentation Proposal

    Please email proposals to Lucor Jordan at

    Please include your name, contact information, any relevant academic or professional affiliations, the title of your presentation, and a 100-200 word abstract.

    Our standard presentation time slots are 45 minutes, which includes time for questions and discussion following your presentation. Please indicate if you are interested in a longer (or shorter) time slot. 

    Additionally, we will be happy to consider submissions for alternative presentation formats, for example panels, roundtable discussions, debates, workshops, sessions featuring films or music, or artistic performances. 

    Deadline: Wednesday, September 23rd

    Submissions received before September 23rd

    will be prioritized in schedule

    Fall Retreat Schedule

    Thursday, October 12th

    All day: Arrivals 

    5pm: Registration

    6pm: Social Soiree by a Campfire

    Friday, October 13th 

    7:30am - 8:30am: Breakfast at Cafeteria or on your own

    9am - 12pm: Presentations and Workshops

    12pm - 1pm: Lunch at Cafeteria or on your own

    1pm - 5:30pm: Presentations and Workshops

    Saturday, October 14th

    6am - 1pm: Optional breakout session, Solar Eclipse Viewing Trip to Chaco Culture National Historical Park

    2pm - 6pm: Presentations and reflections

    Sunday, October 15th

    9am - 12pm: optional social time / presentations, Ghost Ranch hiking, and goodbyes

    All day: Departures

Past events

Friday, April 21, 2023 2023 Spring Conference - !Program Now Available!
Friday, October 07, 2022 2022 HPSfAA Virtual Fall Retreat at Zoomlandia
Friday, April 22, 2022 2022 HPSfAA Spring Conference, Program Now Available
Thursday, September 30, 2021 HPSfAA Fall Retreat at Ghost Ranch
Saturday, April 17, 2021 2021 HPSfAA Virtual Annual Spring Conference
Saturday, October 03, 2020 2020 HPSfAA Fall Retreat - Virtual Conference - ! PROGRAM AVAILABLE !
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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