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Events by Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity

PAST EVENTS

EASA Network meeting – Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity
Berlin, 17‐19 July
Freie Universität, TOPOI Building and Heinrich Böll Foundation

Conference Report

The network meeting of the EASA network for race and ethnicity took place in Berlin from 17‐19 July 2017. The program consisted of a postcolonial city walk, a public panel, and two days of formal and informal sessions. The city tour offered an opportunity to reflect on the place of the meeting, Berlin, and its colonial history. The public panel reflected on the question of what an engaged anthropology could look like. The workshop itself raised scholarly questions, but also forced all participants to reflect on the network itself and the degree to which it reproduces, but also has the potential to change existing relations of power within anthropology and beyond.

Several themes ran through the meeting:

1. Activism and scholarship The conference began with a workshop which was opened by a panel discussing what a network of anthropologists can contribute to questions of social justice. Such a question pertains not only to anthropologists in society at large, but also concretely addresses the question of how to build a network that takes social justice as a point of departure. In other words, the question was what the place of activism is in anthropological practice.

2. Decolonizing anthropology
The opening panel also discussed racism in the academy. Anthropologists have been relatively good at providing critical self‐reflection on anthropological scholarship. However, there is ample room for improvement where institutional politics are concerned (diversity in departments, hiring practices, positions of anthropologists of color/from the global South, politics of citation, etc.).

3. Race as an object of study
An anthropological approach to race implies an understanding that race is not a priori, but emerges through various practices: it is something people do, and as such can be subjected to anthropological scrutiny

4. Anthropology and postcolonial theory
Cultural and postcolonial studies are not a self‐evident part of the anthropological canon. We explored the question of how these fields can be made useful in anthropological studies.

5. Anthropology and other disciplines
Several participants suggested that race, because of can be understood as a cultural/social/biological/technological nexus, is best studied in trans‐ or interdisciplinary approaches.

6. Building a network
These themes were taken into consideration during the final session, which was dedicated to making concrete steps towards further building the network. In that session we established several working groups to address the issues raised throughout the workshop. At the end of the conference, several working groups were formed by volunteers to engage in a variety of tasks.

Working groups

1. Mission statement taskforce (Mariquian, Markus, Katharina, Jennifer)
2. 1‐2 months before EASA. Feedback group (Anna, Kristine , Karel, Tilmann, Gajendran)
and send out request to list
3. Advisory board (Markus)
4. Collecting experiences of anthropologists of color (working title) (Sinan, Adnan, Mihir,
Duane)
5. Curriculum (Anna, Adnan, Anouk)
6. Support infrastructure within network (mentoring, working towards institutional
change) (Kristine, Markus, Jessica)
7. Facebook page (Mihir, Gajendran, Thiago)
8. How to engage / activism (Karel, Ira)

Programme Overview

17th July
14:30-16:30: Postcolonial Tour of the Afrikanisches Viertel by “Berlin Postkolonial”
Meeting Point: U Afrikanische Straße, End Point: U Rehberge
BREAK FOR DINNER/MEAL
18:00-20:00: Opening Public Panel:
Race and Ethnicity: Anthropological Responses to Contemporary Challenges
Venue: Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Schumannstraße 8, 10117, Berlin
There will be a reception hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation following the
panel.

18th July
Venue: Freie Universität Berlin
Topoi Building Dahlem
Hittorfstraße 18
D-14195 Berlin
09:30-10:00: Welcome and Introductions
10:00-12:00: Race, Anthropology, Institutions/Decolonizing comfort zones
Moderated by: Adnan Hossain, Jessica de Abreu,
Duane Jethro, and Mihir Sharma
12:00-13:00: Lunch at Ristorante Galileo, Otto-von-Simson Straße 26, 14195 Berlin
13:00-14:30: Postcolonial Europe
Anouk de Koning
Mischa Twitchin
Kpêdétin Mariquian Ahounasou.
Coordinator: Markus Balkenhol
Response: Manuela Bojadzijev
14:30-14:45: Coffee/Tea Break
14:45-16:15: Migration, Labour and Whiteness
Karel Arnaut
Katherine Tylor
Paul Mepschen
Coordinator: Tirza Snoijl
Response: !Sinan Çankaya
17:00-19:00: Network session: Open Space for Discussions

19th July
Venue: TOPOI,!Hittorfstraße!18
10:00-10:30: Reflections on Day 1
10:30-12:00: Decolonizing epistemology
Livia Jimenez
Susanne Wessendorf!
Coordinator: Kristine Krause
Response: Jennifer Tosch
12:00-13:00: Lunch at Ristorante Galileo, Otto-von-Simson Straße 26, 14195 Berlin
13:00-14:30: Critical Caste Studies
Gajendran Ayyathurai
Dag Erik Berg
Coordinator:
Markus Balkenhol
Response: Damani Partridge
14:30-14:45: Coffee/Tea Break
14:45-16:15: STS: On Race as a Conceptual and Methodological Challenge
Christoph Lange
Katharina Schramm
Sarah Fründt
Coordinator: Katharina Schramm
17:00-19:00: Closing session: Network focused

 


 

EASA2016 Panel: The anthropology of race and ethnicity network launch
22. July 2016
Convenors: Markus Balkenhol (Meertens Instituut)
Kristine Krause (University of Amsterdam)
Katharina Schramm (Free University Berlin)

Abstract: In 2013, the editors of Cultural Anthropology, Anne Allison and Charles Piot, were "surprised that we've had so few submissions about race over the past three-and-a-half years. Are anthropologists no longer interested in the topic - or feel that they've exhausted what they have to say about race? Or has the world changed, with race today a less salient category of everyday life and analysis?" Not surprisingly, their answer was a resounding "no": "The articles in this issue suggest otherwise - that race remains a significant and pressing social category, not only in the United States but also beyond, perhaps more so today than ever - and that anthropologists should be playing a vital role in its analysis". Not only is the history of anthropology entangled with race, both in the production and (self-)critical deconstruction of racial knowledge, but many anthropologists are working on these issues, simply because race, racism, and ethnicity remain pressing social issues across the globe. This panel inaugurates the new EASA network for the anthropological study of race and ethnicity. By way of officially launching the network we want to explore what the anthropological study of race and ethnicity might look like, and what role the network could play in facilitating it. Issues to be explored may include postracialism; intersections between race and other forms of discrimination; postcolonialism; race, religion, and the postsecular; racial technologies; race and the ontological turn. Both ethnographic and theoretical papers are welcome.

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