ASA15: Symbiotic anthropologies: theoretical commensalities and methodological mutualisms

(P04)
Building intercultural bridges
Location Room 9
Date and Start Time 15 April, 2015 at 14:45
Sessions 1

Convenor

  • Maria Beldi de Alcantara (University of Sao Paulo) email

Mail All Convenors

Short Abstract

This work aims to focus how fieldwork has an important role in building a cultural dialogue that try to result in an “encounter” that is as symmetrical as possible. Being there and write here leads us to methodologies which necessarily involve interpretation arc where the complicity is required. How to build this interpretative arc? How to build the complicity?

Long Abstract

This sessions aims to focus how fieldwork has an important role in building a cultural dialogue that try to result in an “encounter” that is as symmetrical as possible. That “encounter” is plenty of tension and conflict. In face of this how can we rear dialogue?

Being there and write here leads us to methodologies which necessarily involve interpretation arc where the complicity is required and, at the mean time, write here presents us with a distant view necessary for an analysis that can bring some light on this reality.

In the process of coming and going, proximity and distance leads to the process of deconstruction/construction, a consequence of the tense meeting between polyphony and polysemies.

This panel welcomes works that wants to discuss about field-work and the necessity to try to raise some kind of “new’ approach about the “others” even the “others” is “ourself”.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Creating organic intersubjectivity through the circulation of narrative, affect and shared political action

Author: Gwen Burnyeat (University College London)  email

Short Abstract

‘Collaborative production of knowledge’ is a problematic term, charged with tensions around inequalities of ethnographer-subject relationships. I present an ethnography of a scholar-activist research relationship which, I argue, best approximates this academic and ethical goal.

Long Abstract

'Collaborative production of knowledge' is a problematic term, charged with tensions around inequalities of ethnographer-subject relationships. It is, however, an ethical and academic goal to work towards, to capitalise on the dialogue of knowledges between anthropologist and informants. This article is an ethnography of my research relationship with the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, a rural peasant community which is neutral to the armed conflict in Colombia, which I call 'organic intersubjectivity', and I argue that this is based on the circulation of narrative, affect, and shared political action. I outline my transition from NGO worker to independent researcher-activist; my institutional context; my 'activist' activities; and my field research methods. I contextualise this relationship within Colombian geopolitics, and examine how the four compass points of this relationship, academia and activism, chocolate and politics, weave together in order to create ownership of the research process, creating the conditions for the best approximation of collaborative production of knowledge.

Cultural kleptomania and the boundaries of authenticity

Author: Eni Bankole-Race  email

Short Abstract

This examines the extent to which material culture can be appropriated before it loses its claim to authenticity,while also exploring the effects of cultural appropriation - whether such is always wrong and how cultural ‘kleptomania’ can be distinguished from benign appropriation.

Long Abstract

This is an examination of the extent to which traditional material culture can be appropriated, or reinvented before it loses its claim to authenticity while also exploring the effects of cultural appropriation - whether such is always wrong and how cultural 'kleptomania' can be distinguished from benign appropriation.

"Authenticity means genuine, unadulterated or the real thing…" (Theobald, 1998)

Despite Theobald's confident assertion, disputes abound regarding the very existence of the concept of authenticity. Handler believes that it is a) a cultural construct of the western world; b) closely tied to its notions of individuality and inseparably bonded to this notion "Cultures are imagined as discrete, bound units, each unique - like a personality configuration…".

"Explaining anthropological notions of authenticity will give us yet another example of the startling degree to which anthropological discourse about others proves to be a working-out of our own myths." (Handler,1986)

In the reality of appropriation and contemporisation of traditional non-western textiles and dress, rationale and import of the item are rarely considered, gender boundaries are ignored; religious symbolism and reverence jettisoned; acurate provenance rarely given, all filed under 'ethnic' or 'tribal'.

The cultural boundaries obvious to the 'tribal' people whose cultures are being exploited are also rarely perceptible to the 'collectors' in their desire for the next 'new' thing, and often unwittingly subvert the boundary markers , going on to produce "…indigenous images constructed in relation to western concepts of primitivism, exoticism and 'authenticity'" (Conklin, 2008).

The dialogue between indigenous youth and the anthropologists

Author: Maria Beldi de Alcantara (University of Sao Paulo)  email

Short Abstract

This paper aims to present how the indigenous people, mainly youth, represents the role of anthropologist when they are inside of their 'habitat'.

Long Abstract

This work aims to present how the anthropologists works are represented from the indigenous point of view, when the Anthropologists are inside of Reservations. We know the methodology and theory about the role of Anthropologist are widely discussed, since 60. This work presents the problematic about the role of anthropologist when his/her woks with the indigenous youth with the themes suicide and violence. Those themes are very delicate and need to construct a "kind" of new methodology those are constructs every day with them. This kind of work has to have plenty of complicity from both side-indigenous youth and anthropologist. But how to build this proposal? How to build the theory from results from this methodology?

Those are the problems we are discussing to try to build some kind of symmetrical dialogue between indigenous youth and anthropologists.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.