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Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies

September 7-11, 2015, Vienna


The Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS XI) took place in Vienna from September 7-11, 2015. CHAGS X - held at Liverpool in June 2013 - has put hunter-gatherer studies back at the centre of scholarly debates and CHAGS XI made sure that the momentum was not being lost. The Vienna conference was a joint effort by four among the major anthropological institutions in town – the World Museum Vienna (formerly the Museum of Ethnology), the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, and the Anthropological Society Vienna.

CHAGS XI Conference Theme: Refocusing Hunter-Gatherer Studies

With the landmark conference Man the Hunter in 1966 the study of hunter-gatherer societies became a major topic within the social and human sciences. Since then, some of the topics and concerns – egalitarianism, sharing, and mobility – remain central, while others – such as social and technological evolution – have seen better times. Thus, while scholarly trends change over time, the goal of the initial conference, to establish a unified field of hunter-gatherer studies, is still valid. The general question of CHAGS XI therefore was how the results of the last 50 years and new research agendas can be utilized for the present and future.

While many hunter-gatherers are forced to give up their ways of life and subsistence practices, they figure prominently in public discourses on ecological and ideological alternatives to industrial society. Thus, CHAGS XI attempted to attract a variety of stakeholders in these debates – indigenous representatives, NGOs, scholars, etc. Based on fieldwork and research from the full spectrum of hunter-gatherer ways of life and from all perspectives our disciplines have to offer, the goal of CHAGS XI was to bring hunter-gatherer studies back to the center of the human and social sciences.

The International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research (ISHGR) provides the institutional framework for CHAGS, the Hunter Gatherer Research journal (HGR), and other events of the international hunter-gatherer research community.

CHAGS XI was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the National Science Foundation.


Khaled Hakami
CHAGS XI Organizer


  • World Museum Vienna
  • Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna
  • Anthropological Society Vienna
  • University of Vienna
  • International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research (ISHGR)
  • Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften


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