W001
Transgression as method and politics in anthropology

Convenors:
Ursula Rao (University of Leipzig)
John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Location:
Wills 3.33
Start time:
20 September, 2006 at 17:00
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

Transgression as method and politics builds on the idea that participation in a cultural encounter transforms perception and investigates how transgressive practices have triggered the re-theorisation of conventional forms of thought and life.

Long abstract:

The workshop focuses on transgression as a method and practice that transforms fieldwork from strict social science to something more engaging. It builds on the idea that participation in a cultural encounter transforms perception and investigates how transgressive practices have triggered the re-theorisation of conventional forms of thought and life. We invite participants to contribute to a debate about anthropology as a field in the making, which is reshaped through experience in and feedback from the field. Anthropology here appears as a social science and a social practice that through participation transgresses its own boundaries and thus undergoes constant securitisation. We invite papers that reflect on fieldwork, the engagement that results from long-term involvement, and the implication experiences in the field have for the project of writing about the other, who has become close, and part of oneself. The method of transgressive involvement has implications for the position of anthropology in the global debate of culture and the global marketplace where culture is framed, defined and reified. We would like to draw a connection between participation as method and the political position that can result thereof. The panel directly takes up the theme of the conference 'Europe and the World' by discussing the implications our work has for opening up and closing channels for communication and exchange. We will discuss a particular kind of global encounter that is produced through anthropology itself and gives us specific vantage points from which to reflect on and shape an encounter that no longer can/should be understood in terms of a clear dichotomy.