Mutuality and reciprocity in situations of marked inequality: dilemmas of and concerning US anthropology in the world
Virginia Dominguez (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Paper short abstract:
The paper explores ways of looking at responsibilities the largest and richest anthropological community in the world has, or could have, to its colleagues and students at home and abroad, including some that look contradictory.
Paper long abstract:
To be addressed are ways of looking at responsibilities the largest and richest anthropological community in the world has, or could have, to its colleagues and students at home and abroad, including some that look contradictory. When size, finances, freedom of movement, intellectual agendas, patterns of training, languages of everyday use, institutional histories, national governments, degrees of public visibility, patterns of internal differentiation and external connections all differ as much as these do in the profession of anthropology around the world, exactly how should we all relate to each other and not just in the north Atlantic? The paper explores some of the key contradictions I see in ways of looking at the current, past, or plausible role of the U.S. anthropological community, especially that represented by the American Anthropological Association and its nearly 40 Sections. Should U.S. anthropology lead more in the world of anthropology than it currently does? Should it lead less? Should its journals and book series become more international--in authorship and not just readership--or should they be less, thereby acknowledging U.S. national intellectual agendas, histories, political concerns, institutional preferences, and other taken-for-granteds? A great example of the complexity of the problem concerns the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association. Would making these meetings more multi-lingual, multi-sited, and multi- national not unintentionally lead some, especially in the U.S., to reinforce the problematic but common U.S. view that the U.S. is the world?
Changing global flows of anthropological knowledge - a WCAA-EASA workshop