Multidisciplinary Meeting on Indigenous Peoples / Encuentro Multidisciplinar sobre Pueblos Indígenas (EMPI)

Conference co-convened by Sciences Po Paris, PRIF & Goethe University Frankfurt

EMPI Call for Papers Multidisciplinary Meeting on Indigenous Peoples (EMPI) Sciences Po Paris, June 4–7, 2024

The Multi­disciplinary Meeting on Indigenous Peoples/Encuentro Multi­disciplinar sobre Pueblos Indígenas (EMPI 2024) distin­guishes itself by its unique thematic focus on indi­genous peoples, its multi- and inter­dis­ciplinarity and Europe-wide insti­tutional forms of cooper­ation. The event shall catalyze and stimulate academic debates on current global crisis contexts and respective vulner­abilities indigenous peoples are facing today.

The envisaged program addresses global challenges and vulner­abilities arising in indi­genous peoples’ worlds, ranging from CoVID19, environ­mental crisis contexts, indi­genous-specific genocide or neo-colonial develop­ments to meta questions relating metho­dologies or legal framework(s).

While EMPI follows common panel formats it also includes a keynote speech, book fare, docu­mentary, museum visit including a follow-up debate on ‘decolon­ising academia’ and oppor­tunities for junior-senior-peer advice, including dedi­cated (student) skills sessions. It further provides spaces for inter­disci­plinary encounters, dis­cipline-specific reflec­tions and dialogue on the field of indi­genous studies.


When: June 4–7, 2024

Where: Sciences Po Paris, Law School, Paris, France

The con­ference is co-funded by Uni­versité franco-alle­mande (ufa) & Deutsche Stiftung Friedens­forschung (DSF).


Call for Papers

Please submit the following infor­mation until no later than March 31 2024 to EMPI.June2024 @gmail .com:

  1. Full name,
  2. Career stage,
  3. University or institute of affi­liation,
  4. Title of your paper,
  5. Paper abstract (max 300 words),
  6. A couple of key words,
  7. The session of your choice (find below) and
  8. Stating if you would like to be con­sidered for one of the 10 MA/PhD student grants or the 10 grants for indi­genous indivi­duals to parti­cipate at this year’s Meeting

Regarding your sub­mission, you will be con­tacted by April 15 2024. Feel free to submit abstracts in non-English lan­guages (e.g. French or Spanish).

Here you can find the complete Call for Papers.


Conference Sessions

I) Indigenous Peoples and Environ­mental Justice

  • The first panel offers to (re)define the emer­ging field of environ­mental justice as shaped and under­stood by indi­genous peoples, empha­sizing concep­tual issues, criteria and thresholds. It provides possi­bilities to explore the rights of nature (e.g. bio­diversity, agri­culture), including inter­sections with human rights regimes and hard law issues such as pro­cedural law. Indi­genous cosmo­logies may find a place and further articu­lation in these over­lapping claims; Other related chances lie with bio-cultural rights for indi­genous peoples to channel their voices into the persisting State-centric legal order, and the value attri­butable to indi­genous environ­mental activism.

Disciplines poten­tially re­presented: Law, political science, legal and political anthro­pology, geography, sustain­ability studies, human ecology


II) Multi­plicity of Legal Orders

  • The second panel will examine how legal orders engage with indi­genous peoples’ rights and prove relevant for indi­genous peoples, em­blematic being neighboring legal orders such as peasants’ rights or minority regimes. How are indi­genous peoples’ rights situated in specific orders such as inter­national human rights pro­tection mechanisms, regional safe­guards (e.g. the Inter-American human rights frame­work) or relevant consti­tutional reform processes? How can the multi­plicity of legal orders be contex­tualized and postulated in other frame­works, for example the right to water? Especially in European contexts, minority rights have proven funda­mental as alter­native legal venues, spilling over to inspire pro­gressive develop­ments in the field of indi­genous rights and vice versa. Comp­arative work in such group and collective rights contexts promises to provide an interesting space of further con­ceptual and beyond exploration.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Law, legal positivism, theory/philosophy, inter­national relations and political science, possibly legal anthro­pology


III) Legal Anthro­pological Encounters and Legal Pluralism

  • The third panel explicitly addresses legal anthro­pology and legal pluralism as proper fields of research, some of the most shaping (sub)disci­plines in the field of indi­genous studies offering an array of methodo­logical approaches to engage with justice procedures. Namely ethno­graphic methods or locali­sation/vernacular­isation approaches have been serving as methodo­logical tools across the social sciences. Finally, the panel shall provide oppor­tunities for specific or endemic questions to be discussed in relation to the panel theme, such as conflicts of rights and legal hierarchies, or pre-colonial realities.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Legal anthro­pology, law


IV) Indigenous Methodo­logical Encounters and Decolonial Theory

  • The goal of the fourth panel is to uncover a wide range of decolon­izing approaches beyond the discipline of history and to consider decolonizing academia as a cross-cutting, main­streaming exercise across social sciences including law. The necessity of acknow­ledging the need to decolonize the law, insti­tutions and society has become a pre­vailing concern in both aca­demia and everyday life, spurring trans­formative develop­ments at broader levels and alienating us from per­spectives that consider indi­genous peoples objects of inquiry. Methods such as partici­patory action research are key, as is including and channeling indi­genous voices explicitly and actively.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Methods, decolonial studies, history, education, theory/philo­sophy, relevant social science disciplines


V) Global Crisis Contexts

  • The fifth panel will discuss current crisis contexts that impact indi­genous peoples’ lives either by ignorance or targeted action, i.e. geno- or ethno­cidal policies, lower level per­secution or resettle­ment. Commonly observed are secondary impacts (or collateral damage) caused by resource extraction, defores­tation, infra­structure projects and armed conflicts. The panel may also illuminate specific contexts of the recent past including the pandemic, the subsistence and energy crises.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Law, inter­national relations/political science


VI) Indigenous Peoples, Vulnerable Groups and Inter­sectionalities

  • When dealing with indigenous peoples as collective wholes, internal vulner­abilities including inequali­ties may be ignored. The sixth panel engages dedicated grounds of dis­crimination such as gender, age or disability as well as the inter­sectional relevance and impact of violations, and aims to give context to these mani­festations through insights into relevant law and society debates. These indicators of inter­sectional violations may be quali­tative or quanti­tative. The panel may heighten scholars’ awareness of power and insti­tutionalism and their shaping of potential vis-à-vis internal differences.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Law, socio-political approaches, law and society studies, gender studies, diversity approaches


VII) Indigenous Self-Deter­mination: Approaches and Per­spectives

  • Self-deter­mination in its collective form may take a variety of directions, including political struggles of self-governance and territorial autonomy or questions of self-determined develop­ment. Despite being a powerful collective right, self-deter­mination has been considered a far-reaching umbrella right that channels other demands. Its salience may be traced back to claims for lands and natural resources, which intrinsi­cally relate to par­ticipation and the larger context of self-deter­mination. The theme also lends itself for (legal and political) theo­retical explorations.

Disciplines potentially re­presented: Law, political science, legal and political theory, inter­national relations


VIII) Open-Topic Stream

  • This stream is open to subjects not hitherto covered, allowing groups of scholars to present on a topic of their choice. Panels must be constituted before­hand, including at least three panelists and a chair and/or convenor; A discussant may or may not form part of the selection of panelists. Topics shall broadly coincide with the con­ference’s main theme. In case of doubt, the question may be for­warded to the conference con­venors before the submission date.