News from the Networks
Anthropology of the Middle East and Central
(Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China) (AMCE)
Chair: Pedram Khosronejad
We are happy to announce that the first issue of The Journal of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (ACME), a journal that emerges from the work of our EASA network, has been launched during the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences which was held at the University of Manchester during August 2013. The Second issue of our journal will be available by May 2014 during the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA) 50th Anniversary Conference & IUAES Inter-Congress which will be held at Tokyo, Japan.
Also during the academic year of 2014-2015 we will organise several panels and workshops in different venues on behalf of our network, including:
A. Two panels during the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies (WOCMES), 18th-22nd August 2014 in Ankara (Turkey). URL: www.wocmes2014.org/
- Tombs, Mausoleums, Shrines and Memorials of Religious/Political Leaders Middle East.
- Popular Religious Rituals and Folkloric Beliefs among Pastoral Nomads of the Middle East and Central Eurasia.
B. Two panel proposals for EASA 2014:
- Digital pilgrimage: religious innovation, faith revolution an Interactive research laboratory on Shiite Cyberziyarat (cyber pilgrimage)
- The Future of the Anthropology and Anthropologists of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia
C. One panel during Anthropology and Photography conference by the RAI at the British Museum, London, UK; 29th - 31st May 2014
- Ethno-photography of/in Iran: Past, present, and Future
D. Also during academic year of 2014-2015 we will organise the first anthropological film festival of our network and we are waiting to confirm our venue.
4th Annual Meeting Impediments
June 10-11, 2013, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona.
In 2013, another two-day MAYS meeting took place at the University of Tarragona right before the joint Medical Anthropology conference organized by SMA/EASA Mednet/University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona. The meeting was attended by approximately 100 students, PhD candidates, and postdoctoral researchers in Medical Anthropology from across the globe.
The 30 papers that were presented during the two days were grouped in 6 panels
- Immersing in field work as a relational process
- Meeting ethico-political responsibilities
- Including embodied knowledge,
- (Re)Shaping and enriching the methodology,
- Navigating ideological divides,
- Challenging political/structural/institutional frameworks.
For several of the speakers, this meeting constituted the first opportunity to present their work to their peers in a constructive atmosphere. This was highly appreciated by many of the speakers, and MAYS will continue to function as a platform for young scholars in this manner.
The MAYS 2014 meeting is currently being planned. It will be hosted by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, and will take place on July 4-5, 2014. This meeting will be a bit smaller in scale in order to allow participants to exchange thoughts on each others’ work in a more intense manner. The meeting will also entail workshops on topics such as ‘Anthropology and Policy’ and ‘Writing a research proposal in Medical Anthropology’. The MAYS coordinators thus hope that the MAYS network will continue being useful and inspiring to young scholars in Medical Anthropology. They also express their gratitude for the generous funding EASA provided for this year’s meeting.
EASA Network Anthropology of Law and
Heike Drotbohm, heike.drotbohm(AT)ethno.uni-freiburg.de
The network "anthropology of law and rights" contributed to an interdisciplinary and international workshop on Migration within and To the Global South: Alternative Histories, Labour Policies, and Citizenship Regimes, carried out at University of Cologne (5-7 Dec.). It was opened by a keynote by Prof Bela Feldman-Bianco, former president of the Associação Brasileira de Antropologia - ABA. In this workshop the meanings of migrant sociability, networks, migration and citizenship regimes as well as alternative epistemologies and collaborative methodologies were discussed in order to critically discuss the'Global South' notion.
Fielding Challenges, Challenging the Field: The methodologies of mobility
27-28 Sept, 2013, University of Oxford
This past September, the EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network (ANTHROMOB) held the international, cross-disciplinary workshop, Fielding Challenges, Challenging the Field: The methodologies of mobility. In response to the methodological challenges that had been expressed by many of colleagues, the network’s co-convenors Jamie Coates and Roger Norum developed a workshop focusing on how mobility informs and challenges contemporary ethnographic research and writing. The event was hosted by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, with EASA funding set aside to cover accommodation and travel costs for EASA members. Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe) in Leuven also provided support with Alice Elliot and Noel Salazar joining the workshop coordination team. Even Berghahn Books showed up, providing some funding and support for (and many books at) the event.
In total, the event saw the participation of 85 delegates from all around the world including leading universities in Europe, the USA, Australia and China, with 32 paper presentations and keynote speeches by Noel Salazar and Hans Lucht. The research interests of attendees also spanned mobility within and between all the continents of the globe (yes, even Antarctica), showing a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to the question of mobility. Considering the range of nationalities, research topics and disciplines present at the workshop, it was perhaps, as one participant commented, the “most mobile conference on mobility” held in the region to date.
In addition to fostering widespread interest in EASA’s biennial conference in Tallinn, with several possible network-linked panels proposed, the workshop also generated discussion surrounding several joint publications. The network and workshop co-convenors are currently putting in a proposal for a compiled volume/journal special issue of papers from the event.
The ANTHROMOB convenors are extremely grateful for the very generous funding which EASA awarded to the workshop, which allowed for the participation of many students and other early-career scholars who would otherwise not have been able to attend. We hope that the network will continue to inspire cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovative engagement among scholars working on mobility. Suggestions are currently being accepted for possible topics for the next ANTHROMOB workshop/conference, to be held in 2015.
Network for the Anthropology of International Governance
The Workshops of the EASA Network for the Anthropology of International Governance have led to a first publication edited by Birgit Müller:
2013 The Gloss of Harmony. The Politics of Policy-Making in Multilateral Organisations, London: Pluto Press ISBN: 9780745333748, Paperback.
The Gloss of Harmony focuses on agencies of the United Nations, examining the paradox of entrusting relatively powerless and underfunded organisations with the responsibility of tackling some of the essential problems of our time. The book shows how international organisations shape the world in often unexpected and unpredictable ways.
The authors of this collection look not only at the official objectives and unintended consequences of international governance but also at how international organisations involve collective and individual actors in policy making, absorb critique, attempt to neutralise political conflict and create new political fields with local actors and national governments.
The Gloss of Harmony identifies the micro-social processes and complexities within multilateral organisations which have, up to now, been largely invisible. This book will have wide appeal not only to students and academics in anthropology, business studies and sociology but also to all practitioners concerned with international governance.
Why the world needs anthropologists. New fields for applied anthropology in Europe. An international symposium with over 180 participants was held in Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, on 29 November 2013 and explored possibilities for the applications of anthropological skills and knowledge outside of academia. It saught to show that anthropology can be useful in various institutions, and to explain why anthropologists in Europe should not only describe the past and comment the present, but also shape the future.
The event was organised by VU University Amsterdam, University of Ljubljana, Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), Dutch Anthropological Society, Tropenmuseum and Institute for Innovation and Development of the University of Ljubljana, and sponsored by the Vamos Bien! foundation, Slovenian Research Agency and a Slovenia-based company Metronik. It was opened by Dutch anthropologist Ellen Bal, an associate professor at the VU University Amsterdam, and featured three experienced speakers who presented best practices of product development, service improvement and organisational change by employing anthropological skills and knowledge.
The first keynote speaker at the event was Anna Kirah, Making Waves (Norway), who has a background as a design anthropologist and psychologist. She is internationally recognised as a pioneer using human-centred innovation in the design of services and products at leading companies, including Microsoft and Boeing. Her speech was followed by Jitske Kramer, HumanDimensions. Jitske is a highly sought-after Dutch facilitator, coach and presenter in the area of diversity, inclusion, cross-cultural issues and change in the commercial sector. The final speaker at the event was Simon Roberts, Stripe Partners, who is a business anthropologist from the UK with over 15 years of experience in technology research, innovation and strategy development. He has pioneered the use of ethnography in commercial settings, running his own consultancy and working in R&D at Intel.
The symposium also featured a panel discussion, which hosted by anthropologist Dan Podjed, an assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana and the coordinator of the EASA Applied Anthropology Network. One of his guests, who critically reflected on engagement of anthropologists in profit and non-profit sector, was Rajko Muršič, a full professor at the University of Ljubljana, who is critical of capitalism, but strongly supports practical applications of anthropological knowledge. Another panellist was Marina de Regt, an assistant professor at the VU University Amsterdam. Marina cooperated in several development projects which made her critical of the ‘development industry.’ Among the discussants was Wayne Modest, the head of the curatorial department at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, and Dutch anthropologist Nadia Moussaid who talked about the uses of anthropological skills at her work as a reporter and editor at the AT5 TV station in Amsterdam. An opinion on inclusion of anthropologists in interdisciplinary teams was presented by Gregor Cerinšek, researcher and project manager at the Institute for Innovation and Development of the University of Ljubljana, who is an expert on creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and competence development.
Report from a workshop and e-seminar (Nov/Dec 2013)
On 25-26 November the EASA Media Anthropology Network held a book workshop at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Open University of Catalonia (UOC), in Barcelona. This international meeting brought together all three editors as well as four contributors to the forthcoming volume Theorising Media and Change (J. Postill, E. Ardevol and S. Tenhunen, eds.). Participants came from Mexico, Spain, Australia, Finland and the UK (the latter via skype).
The event was followed by a lively e-seminar on this same theme via the Network's mailing list (with over 1,450 subscribers at present) from 5 to 19 December.
Together, the two events have raised intriguing questions about methodology, temporality, communication, causality and change that will contribute greatly to the development of the book's core ideas, as well as placing the anthropology of media right at heart of debates around 'mediatization' currently unfolding across media and communication studies. The co-editors are very grateful to all participants for their contributions which show the continued vitality of the Network and its mailing list nine years after its inception in 2004.