W113
Creolizing anthropology: connectivity, diversity, and reflexivity in a globalizing world

Convenors:
Christina Garsten (Stockholm University)
Shalini Randeria (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
18
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The session will be aimed at stimulating discussions around processes of creolization ­ of creative ways of interlinking cultural flows - and of the organization of diversity, connectivity and reflexivity. The session also invites papers on the state of anthropology itself ­ of its connections and articulations with other disciplines and areas of research, and of possible future scenarios.

Long abstract:

Contemporary society is a globalizing society – yet one in which cultural flows filtrate unevenly and often in unforeseen and creative ways. Contemporary globalization is at once multifaceted and internally contradictory, involving an intensification and diversification of transnational relations, enhanced opportunities for connectivity, but also intensification of cultural clashes and confrontations. Multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, identity politics and diversity management are buzz words that bring to mind various ways of dealing with and of organizing diversity, and that constitute ways of relating to the world - as well as objects of study in themselves. Contemporary global processes also involve new and creative avenues for reflexivity. Reflexivity here brings attention to the various ways of individually or collectively representing oneself, portraying oneself, measuring oneself - and others. To understand the state of the world today we need to pay closer attention to processes and structures extending beyond the nation-state, and the complex ways in which transnational cultural flows articulate with local processes and structures, with expert systems of knowledge and with popular culture. We also need to keep a keen eye on the ways in which these ideas, ideologies, and knowledge are mediated, reorganized, and reframed. Social anthropology has contributed to deepened knowledge of these processes of creolization – of creative ways of interlinking cultural flows - and of the organization of diversity, connectivity and reflexivity. The session will be aimed at stimulating discussions around these topics, inspired by the significant contributions of Prof Ulf Hannerz to social anthropology. The session also invites papers on the state of anthropology itself – of its connections and articulations with other disciplines and areas of research, and of possible future scenarios.