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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


Nomadic Peoples 22.1 (2018) is out

This special issue dedicated to ‘Gypsies’, ‘Nomads’, ‘Roma’. Categorisation Processes of Roma and Sinti in Italy, is guest edited by Stefania Pontrandolfo, of the University of Verona, Italy, and Marco Solimene, of the University of Iceland (developed from a CNP-sponsored panel they convened at IUAES2016 in Dubrovnik). While based on the experience of one country, this analysis of processes of categorisation bears valuable lessons also for other contexts and other mobile groups, including pastoralists, where anachronistic and misleading categorisations continue to affect knowledge and practices both in development and research. Read this issue.


The 18th World Congress of the IUAES will be held in Florianópolis, Brazil, from July 16-20, 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". See website.

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples will host two panels at this congress. Please consider presenting a paper within one of these two panels. For further details click on the panel titles below:

OP 088: Gendered relationships among nomadic societies (Chaired by Ariell Ahearn and Gaelle Lacaze)

OP 199: Climate Change - Effects on and Responses from Nomadic and semi-nomadic populations (sponsored by the Commission on Nomadic Peoples) (Chaired by Elliot Fratkin and H. Jurgen Schwartz)

CNP 2016-17 report to IUAES

Download the Chair's statement 2017 [PDF]

CNP at CASCAIUAES2017 in Ottawa, May 2017

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples presented a panel at the Ottawa 2017 Inter-Congress:
LL-NAS07 < order OR stability > Working with pastoral systems in a ‘messy’ world

Convener: Saverio Krätli (IUAES Commission of Nomadic Peoples, Editor Nomadic Peoples). Presentations included Shinya Konaka, Saverio Krätli, Sergio Magnani, Greta Semplici, Nicolas Rasiulis and Shalima Talinbayi. The panel opened with an unscheduled presentation by Emery Roe, who talked about the ‘mess paradox’ and high-reliability pastoralism.

Best Student Paper Prize (2016-17)

This was awarded to Ariell Ahearn, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, for her paper, A Condensed History of the Public Administration of Pastoralism in Mongolia [PDF].

Call for nominations: CNP Lifetime Achievement Award

The CNP Lifetime Achievement award is made at every IUAES Congress. Please send your nomination with a brief summary of the candidate, to Dr. Kathleen Galvin, Chair CNP Awards Committee (kathleen.galvin(at)colostate.edu), copying Elliot Fratkin, Chair, CNP (efratkin@smithl.edu). Deadline: 31 March 2018.

Nomadic Peoples Best Student Essay 2017-18

The Commission on Nomadic Peoples is calling for submissions for the 2018 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 31 March 2018.

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