Social anthropology of and for revolutions
Samuli Schielke (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO))
Paper short abstract:
The question about the future of social anthropology in Europe - and with it, the EASA - is a political question: How can social anthropology be relevant without being instrumentalised?
Paper long abstract:
There is a crisis, partly evident and partly still invisible, caused by a tension between the way anthropologists feel committed to the worlds they study, and the forms of communication that are promoted by academic careers. This is something that regularly emerges in teaching, but in academic conferences and publications much of this tension is toned down by established communication formats. However, whenever major crises and revolutions occur, this tension also becomes more visible. For example, the uprisings in the Arab world and elsewhere since 2011 have given a boost to a sort of committed ethnographic work and on-spot publishing that fits only with difficulty into the conventional formats of academic publishing. Looking at the record and potential of EASA publications in the recent years, and linking it with the interest for anthropological knowledge I have faced among students, in fieldwork, and from journalists and governments, I reflect about the future prospects of this uneasy dynamics between academic anthropology with its specific forms of communication and recruitment on the one hand, and the desire and need of many anthropologists to interact and communicate in a world that is in an almost constant state of crisis. The question about the future of social anthropology - and with it, the EASA - is a political question: How can social anthropology be relevant without being instrumentalised?
EASA beyond crises: continuities and innovations in European anthropology