EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010


Engaging anthropology in practice: pedagogical exchanges with media practitioners

Location Arts Classhall E
Date and Start Time 27 Aug, 2010 at 11:30


Caroline Gatt (University of Aberdeen) email
Rachel Harkness (University of Edinburgh) email
Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo) email
Joseph Long (University of Aberdeen) email
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Long Abstract

The conference theme asks whether anthropologists should resist pressure to re-frame the discipline in terms of what 'practical use' it may have. In exploring what 'practical use' entails, we ask how anthropological training might be developed that resists reproducing an opposition between the practical and the theoretical, but nonetheless equips anthropologists to reach publics beyond the academy. This panel explores what is needed to practice anthropology in a way that reflexively engages in the world without reductionism and speaks to professionals in the arts, education and broadcast media.

The conveners are currently developing 'Engaging Anthropology in Practice', a workshop programme based in Scotland. The project aims to develop a training agenda for postgraduates and early career anthropologists through exchanges with professionals working with different publics. The panel will showcase anthropological engagements already carried out in order to learn from these projects, identify training issues, and create links for future cooperation.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.


Awareness training for journalists and its potential for the promotion of media diversity

Author: Julia Bayer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)  email
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Long Abstract

I will discuss the potential of awareness workshops for journalists as one of the activities German broadcasting corporations launch to promote media diversity. I draw on fieldwork in a journalism school, on collaboration with media practitioners and on my experiences as a trainer in such workshops. In my training I try to go beyond the often expected approaches of intercultural communications. Instead my aim is to bring in an anthropological perspective on a meta-level of representation.

First I will show how "media diversity" is conceptualised by German broadcasting corporations. I will then argue that the conventions of professional journalism carry a systemic and structural bias that tends to run counter to media diversity initiatives. Finally I will outline the direction that diversity activities will need to take if they really want to tackle the structural level.

Practicing anthropology through intercultural and interdisciplinary mediation: a reflexive ethnography of an 'interculturalizing' higher education institution in Mexico

Authors: Gunther Dietz (Universidad Veracruzana)  email
Laura Selene Mateos Cortés (Universidad Veracruzana)  email
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Long Abstract

In the last decade, the "multiculturalization" of educational institutions designed for and/or by indigenous peoples has reached higher education. In Mexico, innovative new "intercultural universities or colleges" are being created. In this paper, after a brief contextualization of the Mexican process of decentralization and "devolution" in the sphere of higher education, the Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural is ethnographically studied and comparatively analyzed. This academic programme is offered as an interdisciplinary B.A. focussing on intercultural management and interdisciplinary mediation in development projects, in the course of which the mainly indigenous students specialize in sustainable development, heritage and communication, language promotion and translation, legal pluralism and customary law or medical pluralism and intercultural health. Our paper scrutinizes the role played by both intra-academic and externally applied anthropology in the development of this new programme and the contribution of ethnogrpahy to the intercultural translation and mediation processes taking place between teachers, studnets and their communities.

Looking at anthropology

Author: Lionel Ochs (Paris V la Sorbonne)  email
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Long Abstract

« Looking at anthropology » is a video project. It is a series of short films (3 to 5 min) presenting contemporary anthropologists around the world. The films portray anthropologists as they present themselves, their motivations, their practice, as they reflect on the role of anthropology and its place and impact in today's world. This project aims to highlight the practical and concrete use of anthropology against the general background of diverse conceptions of anthropology. Although not without aesthetic ambitions, the project is also an illustration of new territories for video anthropology.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.