W109
Happiness: anthropological engagements

Convenors:
Dimitrina Spencer (University of Oxford)
Bojidar Alexiev (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Chair:
Jonathan Skinner
Discussant:
Maruska Svasek and Patrick Heady
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
209B
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 11:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

We invite analyses of mutuality through expressions and experiences of joy and happiness revealing the qualities of social relations and anthropological knowledge and engagements.

Long abstract:

This workshop invites analyses of fieldwork encounters of joy and happiness and related emotions as constitutive of social relations and actions. We discuss emotions of happiness as embodied intersubjective experiences, practices, discourses, narratives, fantasies, emotive styles, personal transformations, survival strategies and moral dilemmas. How do we experience, observe, conceptualize, repress and write about joy and happiness? What theoretical and methodological implications emerge? What is distinctive and valuable about the anthropological approach to studying happiness; could we enrich it through including other disciplinary approaches such as, for example, psychology, literary theory, philosophy, film studies, or neuroscience? How do particular manifestations such as humour, laughter, creativity, justice, physical well-being, sensuality, love, sexuality, visual pleasure, morality, and others relate to mutual feelings of joy and happiness? How can we relate the experience of fear, insecurity, anxiety, suffering, or pain, to the existence or absence of happiness.