We anthropologists talk about anthropology, scholarly lives and academic practices constantly in our offices, corridors, coffee breaks, administrative meetings, and over drinks. Our foci are often immediate, urgent, consequential, disturbing and challenging. Often there is limited time or commitment to also talk about how we envision our discipline or our visions for our own scholarly lives and projects, Yet, in doing anthropology every day we engage with and create visions of anthropology, of relations to colleagues, of scholarly practices, and of the milieu in which we live. These visions are ever changing and situated, but their presence and effects are of mutual concern. The fragmentary way we address visions and agency, and the urgency and sometimes discomfort we may feel as we do so hint at the challenges we face individually and collectively today. This plenary seeks to create a space of dialogues where grounded visions and the experiences that connect them can be explored among colleagues.
The speakers at the plenary were invited to reflect on the emerging visions of anthropology - from various perspectives - including differently situated historical, generational, analytical, ethnographic, and engaged experiences. The talks being developed are diverse, but the abstracts nevertheless reflect a surprisingly recurrent set of themes. Among these: anthropology in the world, including anthropological relations to processes of ethnography, power, politics, and agency; questions about what a long-standing but widening commitment to critical stances has meant and may yet become in anthropology, and the relations of such critical commitments to anthropology’s ever shifting marginality; anthropological relationships to universities and disciplines, and its changing place in neo-liberal academia; anthropology’s challenges within the post-disciplinary power of expertise, especially in relation to the everyday lives of the people and students we engage with; anthropology’s re-turn to ethnography and to foci on conflicts, modernity, resistance, coexistence, agency and social movements; and the continuing challenges we face as intellectuals and citizens.
Harvey Feit, Regna Darnell, Sylvie Poirier and Jasmin Habib will each bring their views to this exciting and important topic. We hope you will enjoy it. Please register now for the CASCA 2011 Conference.
Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)c/o Dr.Lorne HolyoakDepartment of Sociology and AnthropologyCarleton University1125 Colonel By DriveOttawa, ON K1S 5B6Email
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