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Who We Are

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples is part of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES). This commission is one of a number of academic working groups of the Union which collaborates with a broad, international range of researchers on nomadic peoples. The Commission has always aspired to be inclusive - drawing in as many interested parties as possible - researchers, practitioners, government and non-government officials, and crossing language and cultural divides.


Its activities are focused on organizing conferences for the IUAES as well as facilitating other meetings and workshops. The journal of Nomadic Peoples is part of its mandate. It maintains an email distribution list for important announcements (to join the list, you may register on-line). Above all it exists to encourage international exchanges and linkages among researchers and practitioners who are interested in nomadic and pastoral populations throughout the world.

Join the Commission

You can subscribe to the Journal and/or add yourself to the Commission mailing list so as to receive the latest updates and news from the Commission. Join here.

Contact us

CNP: efratkin(at)smith.edu
Web: web(at)iuaes.org


Call for abstracts
4th Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference

8-9 June 2017, School for Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

Deserts and drylands encompass 40% of the globe and shelter two billion people. Arid regions are home to the major religions, valued natural resources, scarcity, wealth and poverty, and face issues that dominate our time. Geopolitics, climate change, development, land degradation, population growth and conflict are issues that have relevance beyond any singular department or perspective.

The conference will provide a forum for researchers and those interested in desert and dryland environments and societies to present, discuss and debate dryland themes and research. For 2017, we encourage presentations on issues related to pastoralism, health, mobility and forced displacement, and environmental governance. We also encourage participants from the Humanities to join us. The combination of research presentations, open engagement and working group panels encourages debate, conversation and exchange of ideas.

DEADLINE for REGISTRATION: 1 MAY 2017. Read more.

Future IUAES Congresses

The next Inter-Congress of the IUAES will be held jointly with CASCA, the Canadian Anthropology Society/Société Canadienne d'Anthropolgie, in Ottawa, Canada, on May 2-7, 2017. Hosted at the University of Ottawa, the theme is "Mo(u)vement". Read more.

The CNP will hold a panel entitled: < order OR stability > - Working with pastoral systems in a ‘messy’ world.

The 18th World Congress of the IUAES will be held in Florianópolis, Brazil, on 16-20 July 2018, hosted by the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA). The theme of the congress is "World (of) Encounters: The Past, Present and Future of Anthropological Knowledge".

CNP Chair's 2016 statement and letter

Download the 2016 Statement [PDF] and 2016 Letter from Chair [PDF]

IUAES inter-congress, Dubrovnik May 4-9, 2016

The 2016 Inter-Congress of the IUAES in Dubrovnik was an exciting and productive event. The Commission on Nomadic Peoples sponsored five panels with a total of thirty nine papers presented. The panels were:

  • P318: Pastoral Nomads: Comparisons between Continents (Chaired by Philip Carl Salzman)
  • P324: Pastoralists and Nomads Today (Chaired by Elliot Fratkin and Kazunobo Ikeya)
  • P396: ‘Gypsies’, ‘Nomads’, ‘Roma’: Transformations and strategic uses of political and cultural categorisations concerning Roma and Sinti populations in Italy over the last fifty years (Chaired by Stefania Pontrandolfo and Marco Solimene)
  • P441: Lands of the future. Pastoralist knowledge in a globalizing world (Chaired by Christina Gabbert)
  • P718: The Cost of Crossing: Exploring Power through Boundaries (Chaired by Ariell Ahearn and Emilia Sulek.)

The final program from Dubrovnik IUAES inter-congress is downloadable here.

Volume 20 Issue 1 of Nomadic Peoples out now out

Nomadic Peoples Best Student Essay 2016

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples is calling for submissions for the 2015 Best Student Essay Prize on the broad topic of nomadic peoples as defined in our journal Nomadic Peoples. The Best Student Essay prize is $250 and the essay will appear in the coming issue of Nomadic Peoples. Essays should have been written during the period of graduate study and should not exceed 7,500 words. Entrants would normally be graduate students, but undergraduate students may also apply. Entrants should be paid student members of the Commission on Nomadic Peoples. Deadline for submission is December 31st, 2016.

Please send submission to: Professor Elliot Fratkin, Department of Anthropology, Smith College, Northampton MA 01063 USA. Digital submissions may be sent as PDFs