18th EASA Biennial Conference
EASA2024: Doing and Undoing with Anthropology
University of Barcelona, 23-26 July 2024.

Call for Early Career Scholars Plenary: Ethnography in troubled times

The call is now closed!

Reflections on long-term methodologies, the immediacy of field experience, and public debate

In this plenary, we seek to engage early-career scholars in a broader reflection on the complex connections of anthropology and its interlocutors. We want to evoke critical thinking from young scholars recently or currently immersed in ethnographic fieldwork, and confronted with the contradiction of long-term reflections and the urgency of public debate.

In the context of overlapping crises that have accelerated the perceived experience of rupture, transition, and emergency, ethnography arises as a long-term methodology inviting slow thinking and reflection; the ongoing conversation on new formats of inquiry, experimental paths of representation, and the boundaries of traditional methods evinces the need to reflect on the immediacy of field experience and the relationship we establish with the public. With the legitimacy of scientific methodologies being increasingly questioned, anthropology is also critically debating its limits and opportunities. Anthropologists are increasingly faced with the haste of public conversation steering our research agendas and claiming attention: how are we to commit to the long time-frames needed to develop in-depth ethnographical insights, while at the same time engaging in the public conversation? Is the anthropologist well equipped to deal with the larger societal issues of our troubled time, and how can we balance extended fieldwork with the urgency of social crisis?

Building on ethnographic experience, we invite short presentations reflecting on the overlapping of urgent debate, the need for critical reflection, and the conflicting roles of ethnographers. We will bring together a round-table of four dialogical presentations to think about the boundaries, methods and opportunities of anthropology in troubled times.

We encourage Early Career scholars (max. 7 years after being awarded their PhD degree) to propose their contribution (a short summary and a 350 word abstract) to this forum via the "Propose a presentation" button below, plus a 150-word short bio (the bio should be added at the beginning when you log in to the system and click on “personal”). The conversation will unfold through short presentations (max. 15 minutes) that will be oriented to explore ethnographical experiences in public debates and stir provocative thinking.log in to the system