Hello colleagues, bonjour! Mélanie Chaplier and I are writing to invite you to participate in a panel on Ethnographic Mapping of Indigenous Territories that we are organizing for the upcoming annual meetings of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) from 16-20 May 2018 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. The conference is being co-sponsored by the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), meaning that membership in either CASCA or SfAA entitles you to register for the conference. The conference website is here.

As you will read from our panel proposal (far below) we think it is an excellent time for an inter-disciplinary, cross-borders reflection on the work of cartographic production by and with indigenous peoples. We are reaching out to you through the work that you are engaged in with resepct to indigenous territories, and your encounters with mapping in these contexts. As we describe in our proposal, we are interested in ethnographies of cartography, cartographic ethnography, and the multiple (sometime discordant) voices evoked though cartographic representation and practice in indigenous contexts. From our experience, this theme has gained broad appeal, and we are planning what we hope will be an influential edited volume of the papers for an inter-disciplinary journal following our panel.

The call for panels has a submission date this Friday (November 17th) and panel participants should be registered for the conference by this date. Please let us know right away if you able to participate in our panel (please include a draft title for the paper you plan to give), and register for the meetings through the conference website [CASCA members][SfAA members].

We look forward to hearing from you. If you have a colleague or graduate student whose work aligns well with our theme, please forward our panel proposal to them.

Thank you,

Brian Thom & Mélanie Chaplier

Dr. Brian Thom

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

University of Victoria

PO Box 1700 Stn CSC

Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA



Direct: 1-250-853-3895 | FAX: 1-250-721-6125

📧 bthom@uvic.ca | Skype: briandavidthom

- - = - -

Melanie Chaplier, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

McGill & UCLouvain


(+1) 514 442 8252


Maps as polyphonic counterpoints: Ethnographic mapping

of Indigenous territories across the Americas

Panel Proposition, CASCA Conference 2018, Santiago de Cuba

Panel Chairs:

Brian Thom, University of Victoria

Melanie Chaplier, UCLouvain/McGill University

Description of the panel

Among social scientists, cartography entails a major dilemma. On one hand, maps are seen as power-laden tools, historically used by colonial powers to infringe on Indigenous lands. Even when used with good intentions, maps bear the risk of forcing Indigenous relationships to land into a frame that inevitably distorts the very nature of the social, territorial and spatial relations being mapped. But maps are also seen as having the potential to empower Indigenous communities, affording them the tools to build stronger claims and thus get their voices heard more efficiently in land disputes. They have become essential in the work of Indigenous self-governance and sovereignty, and often have special status in contemporary community efforts to share precious linguistic and place-based cultural knowledge and practice.

Anthropologists, archaeologists, and geographers applying cartographic skills with ethnographic acumen are at the forefront of this debate. Together with Indigenous peoples, they continue be involved in representing Indigenous worlds through maps despite of these critiques. Very much in the ethnographic tradition, maps created with Indigenous peoples carry a polyphony of voices, worlds, social orders, and relationships to land, engendered by the process of production and consumption of this powerful device. In this context, Indigenous communities’ maps are often carried both in resistance to state and industrial pressures, and as movements of cultural resurgence. As a process aiming at integrating various and discordant voices and audiences ethnographically informed cartographic work creates visual and narrative opportunity – in both thick and thin registers, to evoke Geertz – distinctive to this form of evocation and representation. It is to this complex, and at times messy, nature of ethnographic mapping that this panel wishes to attend.

In tune with the general theme of this conference, we wish to question the contrapuntal nature of ethnographic mapping partnerships with Indigenous peoples across the Americas. Defined as an interweaving of independent melodies working together to form a rich harmonic texture, we invite participants to reflect on indigenous mapping, and anthropological engagements with cartography may register as a kind of counterpoint. More particularly, we open the debate to a series of questions and themes at the heart of ethnographic mapping, including:

-          Describing the histories of (ethnographic) mapping and documenting the legacies and ‘resonance’ they have in contemporary context.

-          Thinking Indigenous maps as polyphonic braid: maps as tools for weaving external influence and agendas (anthropologists, governments, industry, etc.) with internal priorities and epistemologies.

-          Critically reflecting on the processes of ethnographic mapping: how did that line, point or polygon take that particular shape in that particular locale? What is mapped? Why? How? And for whom? What form of negotiations are key to ethnographic mapping?

-          Understanding and questioning the role of ethnographic maps in contexts of education (of communities, of outside publics) as well as in legal contexts (codifying local tradition, speaking to state or juridical tests for rights or title).

-          Unpacking the evolutions related to digital mapping and more particularly the ways this frame of ‘multiple layers’ have transformed the ‘flat, grey-scale’ nature of ethnographic cartography, allowing for visual, textual, (even media-rich) polyphony.

Publication project

Convinced of the potential for quality interventions on this topic, as well as for the need for more publications detailing this creative branch of anthropological thinking, we wish to turn this panel into an edited special issue in a multi-disciplinary journal (currently, we have in mind interdisciplinary journals as Cultural Geographies, Geoforum, or ACME). As such, we particularly welcome scholars who are interested in working with us to attain this objective that would give life to our maps, and make visible reflections on indigenous mapping practices.

Provisional Schedule:

Nov 23rd 2017

Send presentation proposal to melaniechaplier@gmail.com and bthom@uvic.ca

Nov 24th 2017

Submission of detailed panel to CASCA by panel chairs

May 16th-20th 2018

Conference in Cuba

Dec 1st 2018

Send journal papers for internal review

Jan 1st 2019

Feedback from editors of the special issue

Feb 1st 2019

Send final papers to journal for peer-review

CFP: Ethoecologies

Multispecies and more-than-human forms of ethnography and anthropological thought have in recent years received much attention in the social sciences, often based on the argument that human lives cannot be understood without also considering the nonhumans with whom we live and on whom we depend. Some scholarly work also takes up the task of engaging with nonhuman social worlds for nonhumans’ own sake and for the sake of knowledge, asking what can be learned about the world by following nonhuman beings or things. The moment has come, perhaps, to turn towards praxis and ethics: what can more-than-human anthropology do? How can we mobilize our studies of our nonhuman companions towards an applied anthropology of ethoecology? Can attentiveness to nonhuman lifeworlds lead to worldview shifts, and how can anthropological attunement to such lifeworlds move into the eye of the broader public? What kinds of worlds might we propose based on what we have learned when looking across species boundaries?

Amy Donovan amyvdonovan@gmail.com
Brian Noble brian.noble@dal.ca

CfP Workshop CASCACUBA2018

In the frame of the CASCA Cuba conference we would like to reflect on

Great Human Master Plans for Agriculture and its Non Human Challengers

The panel aims at understanding the unintended consequences of great human master plans for the industrialization of agriculture and food production by shifting the gaze following “non-humans” (objects, plants, animals, bacteria, etc.) that are a playing a key role in these processes. Focusing on how non-humans react to and act on agricultural policies allows seeing connexions, relationships, and interactions that are evident but have largely remained invisible. The in-depth description of how chemicals, weeds, cows, agricultural machinery etc. act and are embedded in sets of material, social and political relations, and representations, serves as a counterpoint, an alternative viewpoint to understanding the tangles of the industrialisation of agricultural and food systems.
Following the multiple connexions that arise from the interactions with these challengers of human intent, what can we learn about the transformation of agricultural practices, power relationships, rural sociability or the visions for the future?
How can we cultivate a plurality of viewpoints in our own fieldwork and how can anthropology thus renew the perspectives on the agrarian question?

All the best

Birgit Müller (bmuller@msh-paris.fr) and Marie Aureille


Contrapunteo Medical Anthropology: Talking Back to Convention

This session seeks presentations by those whose work routinely “talks back to” or argues with the conventional, popular, or widely accepted paradigms and theoretical frameworks in contemporary medical anthropology as well as in those fields with which we engage in our research and public discourse. In the spirit of revolution, this session will be about vigorously challenging the status quo rather than meekly acquiescing!

Organizers: James B. Waldram (Saskatchewan) and Janice Graham (Dalhousie)
Contact: j.waldram@usask.ca


CASCACuba panel CFP: Contrapunteo y territorialidades

Panel Organizers: Carolina Tytelman (Memorial University) y Damián Castro (Memorial University)
La idea estado-nación asociada a un territorio es prácticamente de sentido común. En parte ese ’sentido común’ refleja practicas por medio de las cuales los estados-nación se constituyen a sí mismos en términos concretos, por ejemplo, ejerciendo jurisdicciones, estableciendo fronteras y desarrollando políticas. Aunque hegemónicas, estas prácticas territoriales no son las únicas: una variedad de actores colectivos se constituyen a sí mismos por medio de otras territorialidades. Entre estos actores se encuentran, por ejemplo, pueblos indígenas, los campesinos, los villeros, las fabricas tomadas, las comisiones de vecinos y recicladores urbanos. Estas territorialidades se entremezclan unas con otras, se desarrollan en contrapuntos unas con otras. Este panel se propone discutir la multiplicidad de relaciones que se establecen entre practicas territoriales distintas y discutir preguntas como dónde se encuentran estas territorialidades, dónde se interrumpen, cuándo se refuerzan mutuamente, y cuándo entran en conflicto.

If interested send a 150 word abstract to Damian Castro (damianc@mun.ca) before November 13, 2017.

Call for Papers CASCA 2018

Race, affect, and the performative in the counterpoint of center and margin

Panel Organizers: Hendrikje Grunow (Universität Konstanz) and Ricardo Amigo (Universidad de Chile)

In postcolonial locations, and within postcolonial positionalities, performative bodily practices fashion commonalities and differences among people, as well as between people and non-human entities such as things, thoughts and the unforeseen. In this way, they shape subjectivities in class- and race-based terms, among others, both within and across the unstable boundaries of national, cultural, and political identifications. Affective ways of distinction – and, in counterpoint, of establishing empathy –, which are inseparable from racialization processes and the politics of racialized privilege (Berg & Ramos-Zayas, 2015), are paramount to creating and sustaining such collectivities (cf. Ahmed, 2014). Taking into consideration examples that question the outdated theoretical configurations of center and periphery and instead favour a counterpunctual approach to co-presence, conviviality and community, the contributions to this panel should discuss the ramifications of these issues in contemporary Latin American societies.

If interested, please send a 100-150 word abstract to Hendrikje Grunow (hendrikje.grunow@uni-konstanz.de) and Ricardo Amigo (ricardo.amigo@ug.uchile.cl) by November 15, 2017.

CFP> Casca Cuba. Temporal experience and the ethics of time

Call for Papers


Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting 16-20 May, 2018

Universidad de Oriente – Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Panel Organizers: Ari Gandsman (University of Ottawa), Allan Dawson (Drew University)

Subject Fields:
Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies, African Studies / History, Social Sciences, Women's & Gender History / Studies.


Beginnings and endings: Temporal experience and the ethics of time

Time is perhaps the most inescapable —yet difficult to capture and define—dimension of social existence and cultural reproduction. It is present and clearly embedded in our ethnographies, histories and narratives but it also so often eludes us as both participants within research sites and as ethnographers. The phenomenological roots of anthropology challenges us to engage in our informant's temporal universes—yet this aspect of their lives is often overlooked. Anthropology has sought to distinguish time that is framed within our own productions—ethnography and history—as composed of discrete segments: years, centuries, epochs or periods of history marked by political or social upheavals such as colonialism versus time as it exists for our subjects conception of mythical or primordial periods or kin-rooted time that is dynamic and in flux but always remaking itself. At the same 'time', temporal experience is deeply embedded in ethical queries. This panel aims to examine how our informants construct their own lives within meaningful temporal segments and the complex ambiguities and ambivalences with which they understand the temporal dimension of their lives. In particular, we seek to examine how individuals conceive of future possibilities and anticipatory events that both offer a means of coherence but also a way of destabilizing temporal understandings in which beginnings and endings intersect and merge. This panel seeks papers that look to reconcile these temporal contradictions. These papers will address how the temporal ideas of informants intersect, compliment and, at times, conflict with each other. They should seek to explore how an anthropological awareness of the temporal dimensions of our research subject's lifeways and cultural universes can provide insight into the different ways in which time is framed by our informants, external to the discrete, more bounded configurations of time found within our productions.

Interested Presenters should send a short (150 word) abstract to Ari Gandsman <ari.gandsman@uottawa.ca> or Allan Dawson <adawson@drew.edu>.

Call for papers CASCA 2018

Panel organizers: Christine Jourdan (Concordia University), Alexis Black (Concordia University) and Fabienne Labbé (EHESS)

Intersecting Views on the Practice of Bridewealth

Engaging with the theme Contrapuenteo, this panel seeks to explore the multiplicity of voices concerning the practice of bridewealth. Bridewealth remains the most common form of marriage transaction in the world and maintains cultural importance in many societies. Though many individuals value the custom as a method for linking families, as a demonstration of a potential husband's ability to provide for a woman's future and more generally as a material expression of the value of women in their societies, the practice is criticized by many.

Contrasting perspectives concerning bridewealth abound and this panel invites submissions that engage diverse viewpoints on this practice and its implications for women, families and communities. These perspectives could issue from a number of social intersections including those between genders, generations, social classes, rural and urban contexts or any number of other tensions in systems of bridewealth.

If interested, please contact Christine Jourdan (christine.jourdan@concordia.ca) and Fabienne Labbé (fabiennelabbe@gmail.com) with an abstract of 100-150 words by 15 November 2017.

Digital Infrastructures, Practices, and Socialities beyond the State

Panel organizers: Geoffrey Hobbis (CREDO and UBC Okanagan) and Stephanie Hobbis (UBC Okanagan)

This panel looks at user-experiences with digital technologies off state-controlled grids. A well-known Cuban example is El Paquete Semanal, a weekly package of media content distributed on USB flash drives, referred to by Cuban intellectual Victor Folwer as an “Internet of the poor” (cited in Dubinsky 2016, 158). Dubinsky (2016) locates a persisting Cuban spirit of disobedience in this technological contrapunteo. Similarly, Larkin (2008) shows how media piracy in Nigeria has developed parallel infrastructures and economies to those subjected to (global) state control. Building on the digital turn in ethnography (Pink et al. 2016) we seek materially and technologically grounded contributions that explore these and similar phenomena in diverse global contexts. Paper proposals may relate to, but are not limited, to the following topics:
• the offline circulation and mobility of digital media
• how non-state and state-regulated digital infrastructures and practices shape socialities and how they are subject to social interaction
• the digitization of non-, or not exclusively, capitalist modes of exchange (e.g. kin-based domestic and international remittance networks)
• how informal digital infrastructures shape and are shaped by spatial practices
• the myriad expressions of choice in relation to technological constraints created by state over- or undersight

If interested, please send a 150-word abstract with a brief bio by November 13, 2017 to Geoffrey Hobbis at geoffreygahobbis@gmail.com.

La relación que tiene el antropólogo con los demás (define como un contrapuntear) sobre el terreno: ¿Quien o que lo decide? ¿Observador participante o un tercero excluido?

Podemos en efecto concebir que el terreno antropológico es por experiencia un excelente lugar de intercambio y de conversación (contrapuntear) entre el antropólogo y sus huéspedes. Cuando este terreno es colonial o post-colonial, este intercambio es en general contenido por una relación de dominación entre la metrópolis colonial y el lugar del terreno.

Según Malinowski, la práctica antropológica sobre el terreno se basa en la antropológica participante. Gerard Althabe llama a esto: tercero excluido. El terreno es también el lugar de confrontación de la alternancia y "No hay medida de la alternancia sin medida de la exclusión": primero, la medida de los que hablan de sus lazos sociales y también de la medida del que los escucha, que no son ellos, ni perpetuamente inscritos aquí. Es una meditación de la investigación que produce el tercero excluido, sin el cual la investigación es une parodia, un cuestionario. Al contrario de la « observación participante » que permite manipular a voluntad entre participación y observación, el tercero excluido es el lugar de la alteridad máxima o una condensa de la alteridad : la suya y la del otro (...)El antropólogo es un tercio, entre los actores (los que hablan) y la sociedad (de la que hablan). Al final de este proceso, la participación requerida no se puede y no se debe producir una forma de pertenecía. Genera una alteridad tercera, la alteridad del tercero excluido que Althabe ha teorizado » (Hours, 2005, §12-15).

¿Como hoy, el antropólogo sitúa su práctica del terreno, su relación con sus huéspedes? ¿Según la posición que ocupemos en comparación de su solar (próximo o lejano) y también analizar los nociones « diferencia », « desfase », « semejanza » y « llave de failover »?
Es necesario hora tener una reflexión sobre la manera en que la práctica etnográfica permite por el antropólogo la producción de significación por ejemplo con las categorías vernáculas. Todas estas preguntas nos permiten cuestionar la epistemológia de nuestras prácticas y el intercambio.
Epistemología: ¿Que continuidades y cambios epistemológicos podemos observar durante las prácticas antropológicas y etnológicas? ¿Que desafíos está conectado a la realización de investigaciones en la actualidad? ¿Como determinar lo que sabemos aquí y ahora?

Intercambio: ¿Como definir el espacio de encuentro entre los participantes? ¿Como nuestros trabajos son compartidosy difundidos? ¿Si nuestro trabajo es una donación, como se lo recibe y se responde?.

Queremos tener sobre este tema un intercambio con diferentes puntos de vista que vienen de investigadores de diversos países, especialmente cubanos.

Isabelle Leblic (CNRS LACITO), Sophie Laligant (CITERES - Univ. Tours), Simonne Pauwels (CNRS CREDO) – France

CfP CASCA 2018: Assembling humans: plasticities, environments, and identities


We're seeking panelists for our session at CASCA 2018 (Cuba, 16-20 May).

If interested, please contact Stephanie Lloyd (stephanie.lloyd@ant.ulaval.ca) and Baptiste Moutaud (baptiste.moutaud@cnrs.fr) with an abstract of 100-150 words by 8 November.

Assembling humans: plasticities, environments, and identities​

Plasticity is a concept in increasingly common circulation in biomedical sciences, invoked to describe the ongoing interactions between organisms and their environments, the co-constitution of nature and culture. In this panel, we will explore the ways in which these conceptions of human life and forms of socialities embedded in the concept of plasticity. We are most interested in the social and political challenges raised by the concept through its operational or translational dimension as it is mobilized in medicine, public health, or public policies in order to justify interventions on humans. Panellists will interrogate how practices that are supposed to reorient vital or biological processes, to restore capacities or more broadly to improve human health, are reconfiguring the relations and frontiers between normality and abnormality, individual agency and collective responsibility, biological organisms, individual identities and their environments.

Stephanie Lloyd

Professeur adjointe

Département d'anthropologie

Université Laval

Pavillon Charles-de-Koninck, local 3421

1030, avenue des Sciences-Humaines

Québec QC G1V 0A6

McGill Group for Suicide Studies (mgss.ca)

Estimados Colegas Cubanos,

Nuestra intención es organizar el período de sesiones siguiente en las reuniones de la Asociación Canadiense de Antropología/SfAA en Santiago de Cuba, desde el 16 al 20 de mayo. Estaríamos muy satisfechos si uno o dos documentos de científicos sociales cubanos podrían incluirse en este período de sesiones. El título y el resumen de la sesión es:

Acoplando el contrapuntal (contrapunteo) voces de los investigadores e investigados basados en la comunidad a través de la difusión y utilización de los datos

Las directrices éticas de la Asociación Americana de Antropología, Principios de Responsabilidad Profesional, se basan en el antropólogo estructurar y aplicar la investigación y la posesión de los datos y resultados, con sólo una breve y vaga declaración de que no deberían ...” retener los resultados de investigación de los participantes de la investigación...” La "Declaración de Etica y Responsabilidades Profesional" de la Sociedad para la Antropología Aplicada sólo declara que "...le debemos la divulgación de nuestros objetivos de investigación, los métodos y el patrocinio...", pero nada explícito acerca de compartir los resultados de la investigación.

Los participantes en esta sesión creen que es en el mejor interés de la ciencia, las relaciones de poder y el fortalecimiento de la capacidad de la comunidad de que los resultados de la investigación se difundirán en primer lugar, a aquellos que han investigado quien puede criticar la validez de los resultados y su utilidad para avanzar en la promoción, intervención y desarrollo. Se presentarán documentos que describen ejemplos de la metodología y el impacto de su difusión a los miembros de las comunidades bajo estudio en India, Zambia, los Estados Unidos y Cuba.

Si usted está interesado, por favor envíenos su nombre, institución, e-mail y un título y un resumen a:

Stephen L. Schensul PhD

Profesor de Medicina Comunitaria y el Cuidado de la Salud

Escuela de Medicina

Universidad de Connecticut


Jean J. Schensul PhD

Cientifico Principal (Senior) de Investigación

Instituto para la Investigación Comunitaria


Call for papers: CASCA-CUBA
Panel organizers: Lindsay DuBois (Dalhousie University) and Daniel Salas Gonzalez (Dalhousie University)

Value and Politics

Classical anthropological concerns about the foundation, symbolization, circulation, and loss of value continue to generate debate in contemporary research. For instance, some authors consider the basic categories of a Marxian theory of value (e.g., production, value, objectification, and circulation/exchange) as a set of “ethnographic variables” which might change in form and content in different societies, but retain their explanatory potential (Turner 2008). Others call instead for introducing folk concepts from the field as a means of rethinking already established notions and imagining other worlds (Otto & Willerslev 2013). This session invites ethnographically-inspired papers which link value with politics. Papers might explore themes such as:
1. the political character of the value relation itself—the negotiations through which the activities that count as productive and indeed valuable come to be defined and measured,

2. the struggles over regimes of value that order both the flow of commodities and the status of persons in social arenas,

3. the contention in governmental bodies and the civil society over the inscription, circulation, and redistribution of value in monetary (or other) forms.

Please send abstracts to Lindsay.DuBois@dal.ca by October 31.

Congreso Anual de la Sociedad de Antropología de Canadá
Del 16 al 20 de Mayo, 2018
Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Propuesta de panel

Tema: Cultura, clima y azares medioambientales. Enfoques, retos y perspectivas de la Antropología Ambiental.
Área temática: Epistemología: ¿Qué cambios y continuidades estamos presenciando en las prácticas antropológicas y etnográficas? ¿Cuáles son los retos actuales para desarrollar una investigación? ¿Cómo conocer qué sabemos aquí y ahora?
Coordinador: MsC. Juan Carlos Rosario Molina. Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba.
Email: juank@uo.edu.cu Teléfono: 58 75 03
Resumen de la propuesta.
Los antropólogos siempre han documentado etnográficamente las percepciones de los grupos humanos relacionadas con el clima, el tiempo atmosférico y los eventos naturales; en el transcurso de sus investigaciones de campo han encontrado conceptos y pautas culturales tradicionales de las poblaciones locales para interpretar los azares ambientales. El panel abordará primeramente diferentes aproximaciones para el análisis de los fenómenos del tiempo y del clima desde un enfoque cultural, con insistencia en la perspectiva emic. Los panelistas podrán abordar sus disertaciones desde diversas orientaciones epistemológicas e investigativas que han permitido examinar los conocimientos sobre el cambio climático, la observación de la naturaleza, el pronóstico tradicional del tiempo, dentro de las que se pueden relacionar: la ecología cultural, la etnoclimatología, la antropología de los desastres, la antropología climática, climatología religiosa. Un tercer nivel de debate sugiere reflexionar desde los campos de las ciencias sociales acerca de la dimensión cultural, y su relación con los cambios perceptibles: sequías, récord de temperaturas, huracanes de gran intensidad, cismos y degradación de los suelos, que las poblaciones locales asocian al cambio climático.
Los interesados deben visitar el sitio web de CASCA: cascanews@cas-sca.ca, para el registro en el panel o dirigirse al organizador: juank@uo.edu.cu

“The relationship of the anthropologist to the other (seen as a contrapuntear) while doing fieldwork: who or what decides on it? Participating observer or excluded third party?”

We can indeed conceive that the anthropological investigation site is the place par excellence of exchange and conversation between the anthropologist and his/her hosts. When this site is, in addition, in a colonial or post-colonial situation then this exchange is often included in a relationship of domination between the colonial metropolis and the anthropological fieldwork site.
Since Malinowski anthropological practice has been based on participating observation. On the other hand, Gérard Althabe speaks about the “excluded third party”. Fieldwork is also the place of the otherness confrontation and “there is no measure of the otherness without exclusion measure: first the one of those who talk about their social relations, but also the individual who listens to them, who is not them, nor durably registered there. It is an investigation asceticism that is producing the “excluded third party”, without which the investigation remains a parody, a questionnaire. Contrary to the “participating observation” which allows cheating at will between participation and observation, the excluded third party is the place of maximal otherness or a digest of otherness: his/her and that of the other fellow [...]
The anthropologist is a third party, between the actors, those who talk, and the society, they are speaking about. It results from this process that the implication required cannot, and should not produce membership. This implication generates a third otherness, precisely the third excluded party theorised by Althabe.” (Hours, 2005:$12-15).
How does the present anthropologist sees her or his practice doing fieldwork, the relationship with his/her hosts, according to one’s position in relation to the site of investigation (near or distant), also by being interested in the notions of difference and gap and similarity and keys of shift and hierarchy of values, and so on? It is thus necessary to ponder today over the way the ethnographic practice allows the anthropologist to produce sense on the basis of, for example, vernacular categories.
All these interrogations induce us to question as much the epistemology of our practices as the sharing and exchange.
- Epistemology: which epistemological constancies and mutations do we observe in anthropological and ethnographical practices? Which challenges are connected with the research work conducted nowadays? How to determine what we know here and at that very moment?
- Sharing and exchange: How to define the meeting space between the participants?
How are our results and publications shared and spread? If our work is a gift, how is it received and how is it answered to?
We would like to have the opportunity to exchange opinions on this topic with researchers from various horizons and in particular with Cubans.

Isabelle Leblic (CNRS Lacito) leblic@vjf.cnrs.fr
Simonne Pauwels (CNRS Credo) simonne@pacific-credo.fr
Sophie Laligant (Université de Tours) sophie.laligant@univ-tours.fr

A contrapuntal anthropology of politics: engaging formally and informally with ‘the political’
Panel organisers: Flávio Eiró and Martijn Koster (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

The anthropology of politics sets out to understand how people engage with ‘the political’. Within this field, this panel is interested in how people engage formally and informally with governance, democracy, elections, political representation and participatory mechanisms.
To the background of current governance transitions and ongoing concerns surrounding democracy, citizenship, and political participation, this panel invites papers that ethnographically examine ‘the political’ in both its formal and informal dimension. We aim at a fertile dialogue between studies from across the globe. Building from the conference theme, we would like to explore whether we can understand formal and informal politics as co-existing, yet different and independent, sets of practices – as contrapuntal – or as blended and fully amalgamated repertoires; and if these exist in harmonious or conflictive ways.
We are interested in subjects related to democracy and political representation, electoral politics, participation, especially related to marginalised or excluded populations. Some of the possible questions the papers may explore are:
• In scenarios of formal political exclusion, what are the informal channels citizens create to participate in and influence politics?
• How are electoral practices and strategies embedded in informal social norms that expand beyond electoral periods (e.g. clientelism)?
• How do informal political practices that are typically associated with pre-democratic times exist and persist under modern democratic governance and its formal political and electoral institutions?
• How do informal political practices democratise politics? Or how do they further exclude already marginalised groups?
• How are informal practices integrated into formulations of citizenship and imaginations of the state?
If interested, please send a 150-words abstract – or informal inquiries – to Flávio Eiró by October 25, 2017, at f.eiro@maw.ru.nl

Call for papers
CASCA – Cuba
Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting 16-20 May, 2018
Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Ethnographies of NAFTA

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect. NAFTA created one of the largest free trade zones in the world by bringing half a billion people into a set of social and spatial relations within North America and locally. It has created mobilities and immobilities as well as defined what can move across borders and into which direction. Within the three countries entangled by NAFTA, the agreement has cemented forms of socio-economic restructurings that among other things have translated into the erosion of the social contract. Today the agreement is being renegotiated but its effects, reconfigurations and transformations continue to be felt across North America.

In order to examine the social lives of NAFTA, this panel seeks ethnographic contributions on Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exploring how this free trade agreement has materialized on the ground. Rather than merely an examination of unfilled promises, expectations and points of contention, this panel focuses on the ways in which NAFTA has come to matter in the everyday. What are the symbolic processes that constitute economic exchanges and logics? How do national and global aspirations and visions intermingle with personal or collective aspirations? What forms of knowledge, spaces as well as social relations have been halted, emerged or co-produced? This panel aims at thinking about this agreement not as a stable force but as always in the making. Without loosing sight of the political economy structuring NAFTA, we seek to draw attention to its not always-predictable afterlives.

If interested, please send your paper abstract by October 20, 2017 to Alejandra Gonzalez Jimenez at alejandra.gonzalezjimenez@mail.utoronto.ca


We are looking for co-presenters and a discussant to collaborate with us on a panel discussing qualitative, arts-based methods used in anthropological research for the upcoming conference in Cuba in 2018. Fitting with the conference theme, we would like to explore in our discussion the epistemological underpinnings of certain arts based methods and the potentials and limits for sharing arts-based work. Specifically, we focus on photo voice— as a visual method and ethnodrama. We would welcome presenters who use these or similar methods.

Below is a rough abstract that we will build upon for our final proposal.

Multimodal Methods in Applied Qualitative Research: Leveraging participation with arts-based methods

Social scientists increasingly look to novel research methods with the aim of gathering, analyzing and presenting data in more inclusive and egalitarian ways. Anthropologists have contributed valuable discussion on the virtues of visual data collection methods in ethnographic projects. In this symposium, we discuss how visual methods and multi-modal research dialogic strategies to foster communicative practice between researchers the researcher and her participants. We will focus on key methods, such as photovoice, which simultaneously for example, privileges/gives voice to the voices and perspectives of participants, while combatting the subjective nature of photographs. We also focus on ethnodrama and illustrate how this form of qualitative data analysis and presentation can transform data into more accessible, nuanced forms of writing and data sharing.
We draw from our respective research as examples of applied participatory projects and highlight current trends in the field, as well as to showcase our epistemology, axiology and dilemmas we face as researchers using arts-based methods. We aim to create a space for diverse scholars to discuss the challenges and ethical questions that often arise in collaborative and community-based research and to engage ideas on effective strategies for authentic participation in fieldwork, as well as to discuss the challenges and ethical questions that often arise in collaborative, visual/arts-based endeavors.

We are happy to hold a bilingual presentation in Spanish and English if that is of interest.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Anneliese Cannon, Ph.D. and Jamie Joanou, Ph.D.
Faculty of Education
Westminster College
1840 S 1300 E-Malouf 122

Call for Paper

Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting 16-20 May, 2018
Universidad de Oriente – Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Panel Organizer: Maxime Polleri, York University


Ethnographic Practices and the Temporality of Evidence

Following the ongoing concerns surrounding questions of scientific knowledge and the role of anthropology in accessing, rationalizing, and circulating data, (Kirksey 2009; Fortun 2012; Hetherington 2013) this panel invites papers that ethnographically explore the practices of evidence-making and the challenges that anthropologists face in this endeavor. While there is a growing acknowledgement that collecting data and disseminating evidence is deeply political in nature (Cruikshank 2006), there is little on the question of temporality of evidence (Kumar 2016). Since anthropologists typically focus on the here-and-now, relying on participant-observation and interviews, this panel addresses how ethnographic temporality and evidentiary regimes work for the discipline of anthropology and how they intersect in the production of knowledge. This panel aims to re-examine the temporal politics of everyday discourses and practices of evidence-making, while reflecting on how ethnographic practices shape or legitimate particular temporal constructions about the rationalization of what is considered as sound evidence.

Some of the possible questions the papers may explore are:
- The ethnographic sensibilities needed to engage with forms of harm that imply a high degree of temporal indeterminacy (e.g., exposure to hazardous materials, chronic illnesses, trauma, deep time).
- How ethnographic approaches potentially discourage the study of a broader range of contemporary illnesses that might be traceable to past contamination?
- How to rationalize the outcomes of past actions when the narratives and significance of evidence have already been sorted out?
- How the temporal limitations of ethnography constitute specific categories of authoritative actors and how this influence the evidence collected?

Other themes are of course welcome. If interested, please send a 150 words abstract to Maxime Polleri by November 10, 2017 at maxpo88@yorku.ca

Dear colleagues:

I am interested in organizing a round table to discuss the framing of migration in North America with Cuban colleagues. I am beginning to wonder about questions such as: What are the dimensions of consensus or lack of it between the framing coming from the government, non-governmental organizations, immigrants? What can we make of the heavy emphasis on immigration in North Americans? How do Cubans study emigration from the Island?

If you have similar interests, please write.


Judith Freidenberg

Department of Anthropology

0101 Woods Hall

4302 Chapel Lane

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20770


301 405 1420 Phone

301 314 8305 Fax




Are you looking for panelists? Do you want some advice as to where to stay or places to go while at the CASCA Conference? If yes, please feel free to submit a short blurb to cascanews@cas-sca.ca. We will post all pertinent information to this section to facilitate communication between members as they prepare for the upcoming conference.


Contact Info

Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
c/o Karli Whitmore
125 rue Jean de la Londe, #301
Baie d'Urfe (Québec) H9X 3T8