Adoption, Kinship, Culture: Engaging the Past, Imagining the Future

deadline for submissions: 
June 7, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture



Adoption, Kinship, Culture: Engaging the Past, Imagining the Future

ASAC 2021 Eighth Biennial Virtual Conference 


Dates  All sessions and keynotes pre-recorded. 

Gatherings for Q&A on Zoom: Oct. 15, 10am-7pm EST



Call For Proposals

Deadline June 7, 2021


Adoption, Kinship, Culture: Engaging the Past, Imagining the Future, hosted by The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (ASAC), considers crossing boundaries, changing discourses, and new kinship formations to imagine the futures of adoption. This conference investigates what adoption, foster care, kinship, and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) might look like in the coming decades. What discourses, representations, practices, policies, and laws will change and which will stay the same, and why? Who and what will lead the way? As we speculate about the futures of adoption, we cannot ignore the innumerable pasts and the complexities of our present moment. Thus, we also ask, how has the past informed, anticipated, or rejected the future? What will be the effects of the past on our future kinships? 


We seek proposals that examine adoption, foster care, kinship, and ARTs in relation to notions of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, culture, family, nationalism, transnationalism, origins, law, ethics, religion, and much more. We encourage presentations and dialogue that engage the various perspectives of the diverse communities related to kinships. We welcome national and international perspectives as well as local ones. 


As an interdisciplinary academic organization, ASAC invites a broad range of approaches from scholars and creators. We are particularly interested in intersectional, interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing, and future-oriented discussions, and welcome conversations on the connections between adoption and culture broadly understood.We invite proposals for papers and panels that address but are not limited to the following:


  • Critical engagement with the literatures of Black and Indigenous kinship;

  • Critical examination of tropes of orphan(hood) and adoption in past and futuristic literature and cultural productions; 

  • Analysis of Black and/or Indigenous pasts, presents, and futures, including the Millennial Scoop, racism in adoptive kinship, and impact of global and local pandemics; 

  • Critical engagement with growing global nationalism along with attendant im/migration, refugee and asylee, and citizenship crises that produce separation, deportation, and/or adoption; 

  • Critical engagement with global health crises that interrupt or may interrupt migration and transnational movements that involve kinships;

  • Futures of reproduction, family, and kinship, including current and future reproductive technologies, open adoption, foster care, alternatives to adoption, and new genetics;

  • Adoptee, adoptive parent, and especially birth/first parent imaginations and articulations of the future of kinship;

  • Critical engagement with the futures of transnational and transracial adoptions;

  • Connections between kinship and kinship disruption and environmental precarity;

  • Critical engagement with archival methods of research, experiences of archive creation, and other ways of engaging the recorded past of adoption;

  • Examinations of affective structures in kinship.


Individual presentations may not exceed 15 minutes. A panel presentation can include 3 or 4 speakers. All presentations and keynotes will be pre-recorded and posted for a short time before the conference; Q&A sessions will be monitored and live. Recording will be managed through media services, a representative of which will contact each attendant to arrange to record their presentation. Presenters must be available for live Q&A on October 15th. 


For individual submissions, please send a 200-word proposal and a 1-page CV in a single PDF file to To submit a panel proposal of three or four speakers, submit a single PDF file that includes a 200-word panel title and abstract along with 200-word abstracts for each individual presentation and a 1-page CV for each presenter. 


We also invite creative presentations (writing, film, drama, graphic arts, other media, etc.) of 10 minutes or fewer on the conference theme. Please send short samples of creative work that can be presented asynchronously virtually along with a 1-page CV or resume and links if you are working in visual or multimedia, to with the subject “Creative Presentation.”


Please use your surname or other identifier in the file name of your combined PDF file (proposal, cv, and/or writing sample) and other supplementary files. 


Proposal deadline: June 7, 2021.


A conference website is under development, and we will soon post information about registration: For additional information, send email queries to