Crisis as ongoing reality: perspectives from different anthropological locations (European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and the Committee for World Anthropologies (CWA) panel)

Niko Besnier (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Susana Narotzky (Universitat de Barcelona)
201 A
Start time:
15 May, 2014 at 13:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Crisis is today a ubiquitous reality that demands anthropological attention from differently situated epistemologies that pay particular attention to the problem of scale and that seek to link ethnographic materials to theoretical concerns.

Long abstract:

One certainty in the contemporary world is that the state of crisis is ubiquitous. From Japan's Triple Disaster to the world's post-2007 and ongoing economic woes to ecological uncertainties, people everywhere have had to develop new ways of coping with risk, uncertainty and precarity. Anthropologists have been addressing these issues from differently situated epistemologies and experiences; our goal is to bring together scholars representing these different approaches, acknowledge the immediacy with which some anthropologists are studying these issues locally, and foster a dialogue across epistemologies, nations, and approaches. We are also concerned with problems of scale, namely the fact that the decisions of state authorities, corporations, and supra-national bodies are affecting what takes place in people's lives in the intimacy of home and communities. In turn, the everyday practices of coping with uncertainty and risk have an effect on the structures in the context of which people lead their lives. We solicit papers that question issues of crisis and uncertainty on the basis of ethnographic data and that focus on the particular analytic categories (e.g., precarity) in terms of which anthropologists situated in different epistemological traditions have sought to understand the relevant dynamics.