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About WAU: A global hub for anthropology

The World Anthropological Union (WAU): A Global Anthropology Hub 

The World Anthropological Union consist of two separate but constituent chambers, the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) and the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA). A 2016 vote by members of the previously separate IUAES and WCAA decided that the two organizations should form “an integrated bicameral organization with autonomous IUAES and WCAA chambers.” The new organization was inaugurated as the World Anthropological Union (WAU). A major reason for forming WAU was that a single united body representing anthropology was increasingly necessary to speak for the discipline on a worldwide basis. That is particularly so in an era in which the discipline is called upon to have a global voice on issues involving anthropological expertise and concerning anthropology, and in which anthropologists are under threat in various parts of the world.  A founding WAU constitution was adopted in May 2017.  .

Through its World Anthropology Congresses, held every four years, WAU provides a world forum for the discussion and dissemination of research. The quadrennial World Anthropology Congresses are augmented by annual Congresses held in diverse countries, by regular webinars and online symposia and by conferences and publications arranged by various Scientific Commissions that focus on specific anthropological subfields. 

The WAU Steering Committee, consisting of five members of the IUAES Executive Committee and five members of the WCAA Organizing Committee, meets at least once a month online to discuss WAU’s ongoing direction. Similarly, the IUAES Executive Committee and the WCAA Organizing Committee meet at least monthly online.

The World Anthropological Union (WAU) is an inclusive, cooperative forum that invigorates transnational anthropologies. WAU is the interface that unites the missions of the IUAES and the WCAA, galvanizing person-to-person international dialogues between anthropologists from across the world and stimulating cooperative exchange among anthropological associations. As a member of the International Science Council and the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences, WAU represents the ethical and scientific values of the field of anthropology as the discipline’s primary international organization.

WAU’s Priorities:

  • to facilitate conversations and collaborations among anthropologists and constructive interactions between diverse epistemic traditions from around the world
  • to bring awareness of global anthropological thought and perspectives to international science and policy discussions
  • to reflexively shape inclusive approaches to world problems and their solutions by bringing anthropological perspectives to bear on them.
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