Accepted paper:

Intricate relations between Western anthropologists and postsocialist ethnologists

Authors:

Michal Buchowski (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Paper short abstract:

‘Postsocialist anthropologists’ are often presented as relics of the communist past. These images replicate Cold-War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigms’ shifts nad actual practices triggered by transnationalization of scholarship. Various reactions to this state of affairs can be identified, but they often deterr communication what harms anthropological studies on postsocialism.

Paper long abstract:

Western representations of the Others are criticized by anthropologists, but similar hegemonic classifications are present in the realationships between anthropologists living in 'the West' and working on 'the (postsocialist) East', and those working and living in 'the (postcommunist) East'. In a hierarchal order of scholars and knowledge 'postsocialist anthropologists' are presented as relics of the communist past: folklorists, theoretically retarded empiricists and nationalists. These images replicate Cold-War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigms' shifts nad actual practices triggered by transnationalization of scholarship. Consigned to the 'dormant' postsocialist academia either contest this pecking order of wisdom or approve such hegemony. Their reactions range from isolationism to uncritical attempts at 'nesting intellectual backwardness' in the local context (what trickles down and reinforces hierarchies). Deterred communication harms anthropological studies on postsocialism which prominence can be hardly compared to that of the postcolonial studies.

panel IW09
Changing global flows of anthropological knowledge - a WCAA-EASA workshop