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News from the networks

Networks

EASA’s Environment and Anthropology Network inaugural meeting

Perspectives and stories in a world of facts and figures?
Exploring the potential of anthropology in tackling environmental issues
12-13 December 2019, Cologne, Germany

Full information: https://www.easaonline.org/networks/enviroant/events.shtml

The EASA Environment and Anthropology Network was founded in 2018 to provide a platform for exchange among environmental anthropologists and to function as an outreach tool to policy makers, practitioners, other disciplines and the wider society to contribute to the understanding and solving of environmental problems across the world. The network explores original and creative ways of collaborating outside academia and disciplinary boundaries, to offer anthropological know-how for dealing with current environmental problems.

This workshop will provide the opportunity to get to know each other’s work, develop the purposes and strategies of the network, and plan possible collaborations. As we are convinced that environmental anthropology can contribute to alternative and more just futures, we place the exploration of possible ways to do so at the heart of our first meeting. We aim to explore the potential for anthropologists, and anthropological insights, in contributing to public debates and solution attempts for current environmental issues. We will share diverse experiences of linking up with policy and practice. We will exchange some of the methods that have proved useful to this end. And we will critically discuss the potential benefits and harms that providing our knowledge in these circles may cause.

Environmental and ecological anthropology have an established tradition of critically exploring current environmental issues. This includes highlighting the effects of both resource exploitation and conservation regimes on local people, research on alternative conceptualizations of nature, and systematic analyses of environmental racism and injustice reproduced by particular policies and practices, from forestry to industrial pollution. Anthropologists examine the complexities of environmental problems and their intertwinement with other realms. As a result, they describe the predicaments of people struggling with various manifestations of climate change, as much as analyse the problems in framing all social and ecological problems in terms of climate change.

While anthropologists often hold valuable insights into disregarded aspects of environmental degradation and conservation, their role in public debates and political strategies for abating these issues remains marginal. On the one hand, this has to do with the popular understanding that environmental issues are for natural scientists to solve, and if a social scientist should be consulted, this better be an economist. On the other hand, this marginal position of anthropologists can be related to the ambivalent attitude towards political engagement and public presence within our discipline.

In order to help explore alternative pathways for environmental anthropology, three keynote speakers will talk about their experiences of linking up with policy and practice: Liana Chua (UK), on orang-utan related activism; Michael Bollig (Germany) on work in the federal sustainability commission; and Dan Podjed (Slovenia) on general challenges and pathways of applying anthropology. Other participants are invited to present themselves and their take on applying anthropology in environmental issues in Pecha Kucha format. This will leave enough time for in-depth discussions on pertinent topics.

Organisation
Franz Krause, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne
Michaela Haug, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne
Aet Annist, Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu

Inaugural meeting Anthropologies of the State network

Genealogies and Positionalities of Thinking the State
30 October - 1 November 2019, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Network coordinators: Steffen Jensen, Morten Koch Andersen, Anouk de Koning and Martijn Koster
Local event organizers: Anouk de Koning (soon: Leiden University), Martijn Koster (Radboud University, Nijmegen) and Pien Kuipers (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

See: https://www.easaonline.org/networks/anthrostate/events.shtml

The first meeting of our EASA Anthropologies of the State network will be held in Fall 2019 in Leiden, and focuses on situated genealogies of anthropological thinking about the state. This meeting examines the embeddedness of approaches to the state in particular intellectual and everyday traditions and locations, those of the anthropologist and the sites where they work.

The meeting opens with a public debate, in which we ask what anthropologists can contribute to an understanding of current political contestations over the state in political settings across the globe, particularly regarding the rise of authoritarian figures and new rightist politics. What kind of state, authority and politics do they promise? How can we understand their appeal and what forces work to counter these trends?

In the following two-day workshop consisting of sessions with paper presentations, a keynote and a round table discussion, we examine the specific contours of anthropological thinking about the state, both intellectual and more everyday genealogies, one’s own histories and experiences in this respect, and the discussions of the state that are specific to the region of one’s research. We ask how this complex position and embeddedness of anthropological analyses – both of the varied and changing forms of states and various intellectual and social-historical genealogies – have shaped discussions of the state in anthropology in the last decade. And what other, differently positioned perspectives may further our understanding of states and state practices?

The event hosts theoretical and reflective papers on the genealogies and positionalities of anthropological approaches to the state, as well as case discussions that demonstrate and explicate particular to the state. We hope to organize the presentations in several streams or session, some discussing regional approaches to the state, and more comparative across such regional specificities that allow us to reflect on similarities and differences in approaches to the state. We intend to explore possibilities for publications after the workshop.

This event is free of charge, but participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation. It is made possible with the financial support of EASA and the ERC-funded projects AnthroBrokers and Reproducing Europe.

Network for the Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality (NAGS) interannual meeting and two-day workshop

Is Gender Dangerous?
Unravelling anti-gender and anti-migrant movements and reflecting on the current challenges of doing research on gender
19-20 September 2019, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Full information: https://www.easaonline.org/networks/ags/is%20gender%20dangerous.shtml

Over the past years, we have witnessed a growing importance of gender and sexuality issues in public and political debate, particularly in relation to migration and refugee issues. During this NAGS interannual meeting, we aim to interrogate the roles of anthropologists and students of gender and sexuality in current changing social landscapes marked by heightened nationalism and the rise of populist and right-wing thought. Anthropologists have an important role to play in sketching and analysing current contestations of gender, and gender-related discursive practices in specific contexts and communities, and the variety of political threats against it. At the same time, we remain interested in the ‘anthropology of the good’ (Ortner 2016) by examining how involvement with gender studies across Europe keeps playing important positive and transformative roles, even in structurally precarious positions.

The event hosts contributions that engage with current social, political and cultural entanglements of uses, abuses and resistances against gender as a concept and analytical tool, especially contributions that engage broadly with the themes below. The workshop will be structured around panel sessions and roundtable sessions.

Theme 1: Entanglements of Right-wing, Gender and Migration
Theme 2: How can gender scholars respond to current threats against the field?

Keynote speaker: Joanna Mishtal (University of Central California)
Author of The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland.

EASA Network Convenors: An Van Raemdonck , Anna Fedele , Monika Baer

Anthropology of Economy Network
Second newsletter issue was published at the end of April.

At the meeting of Anthropology of Economy Network in Stockholm last year, we decided to launch a newsletter to keep members up to date on events, activities, publications, discussions, and calls related to network interests. Newsletters are published three times a year and we are happy to announce the publication of the second issue this April.

Newsletters are circulated via the Network mailing list and can be also downloaded here.

If you have anything of interest to the members of the Anthropology of Economy Network and you would like to publicise it in our next issue (planned for August), do not hesitate to contact Network conveners about a contribution.

To join our mailing list, go to the Network website. Everybody interested in things economic is very welcome to join!

2019 Symposium of the Anthropology and the Arts EASA Network (ANTART)

The trouble with art: philistinism, iconoclasm, and scepticism of art in anthropology
Saturday-Sunday, 21-22 September 2019
Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Department of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)
Convenors: Roger Sansi (Barcelona) and Jonas Tinius (Berlin)

See: https://www.easaonline.org/networks/antart/events.shtml

Art has always occupied an ambivalent position in anthropology; it has been subject to both fascination and scepticism. Alfred Gell went as far as positing that anthropology is essentially anti-art, advocating instead a ‘methodological philistinism’ and ‘resolute indifference’ in our study of modern and contemporary art. Aesthetics has often been questioned as a Western, Bourgeois construct. The anthropology of art historically departed from this paradoxical, iconoclastic rejection of art practice and in particular, art theory. In this workshop, we want to explore the foundations of the iconoclastic ethos of anthropology, and reassess the role of art within the discipline. What is the trouble with art in anthropology? Our aim is to examine how the anthropology of art can be re-founded, from a paradoxical sub-field, to a contribution to the theoretical problems of anthropology, and a critical discipline of contemporary societies.

We acknowledge as sources of this funding the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museum and Heritage (CARMAH). The Centre is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as part of the research award for Sharon Macdonald’s Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.

If you would like to attend, please register via or

AGENET

Is the research impact agenda getting you down? Making you feel confused or stressed? Are you unsure about how to collaborate with non-academic and interdisciplinary stakeholders?

We at EASA AGENET understand these concerns, and we want to help.

We are very pleased to announce a one-day workshop titled, ‘How to make impact and influence people: Taking the anthropology of ageing beyond the academy'. The workshop will take place at the University of Copenhagen on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.

The workshop represents the first collaborative meeting between AGENET (EASA Age and Generations Network; network convenors: Jason Danely and Monika Palmberger) and the interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA) at the University of Copenhagen. It will focus on how anthropologists who work in the field of ageing and life-course research can collaborate with non-academic stakeholders to create ‘real-world’ impact.

We are delighted that Janelle Taylor, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington and President of the Association of Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course (AAGE), will deliver the keynote address to kick-off our first event as an EASA Network.

We envision this event as a friendly and participatory workshop designed to facilitate discussion throughout the day. Spaces are limited. If you would like to attend (and we certainly hope you do!), then please join AGENET for priority registration.

In the coming months, we will circulate additional information about the workshop and details about how to register. A select number of travel bursaries will be available to early-career researchers; we will also send information about how to apply for this funding very soon. For now, please save 18 September 2019 in your calendar.

Best wishes,
The EASA AGENET / CEHA organising committee (Matthew Lariviere, Amy Clotworthy & Nete Schwennesen)

News from the EASA Medical Anthropology Network / Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE)

1. New Board and New Name

The EASA Medical Anthropology Network held its biannual elections in January 2019. The newly elected board members are: Hansjörg Dilger, Berlin (Co-Convenor); Bernhard Hadolt, Vienna (Co-Convenor); Rikke Sand Andersen, Aarhus (Representative for Teaching); and Natashe Lemos Dekker, Amsterdam (Public Engagement).

As incoming board, we look forward to working with the members of our network and those interested in medical anthropology more generally – and developing and facilitating activities in the field of medical anthropology – over the next two years. We also thank the outgoing board members for running the network over the past two (and partly four) years. In particular, the previous board members were: Pino Schirripa (Italy, Chair), Piet van Eeuwijk, (Switzerland, Co-Vice-Chair), Susanne Ådahl (Finland, Co-Vice-Chair), Margret Jäger (Austria, Representative for Teaching), Rene Gerrets (the Netherlands, Representative for Intersection and Cross-Disciplinary Liaison Officer), Elisabeth Hsu (United Kingdom, Representative for Publication of Books and Thematic Issues), Anita Hardon (the Netherlands, Representative for International Relation and Outlook on Future Activities), Janina Kehr (Switzerland, Liaison Officer), Claire Beaudevin (France, Liaison Officer), as well as Ursula Probst (Germany), Erica Niebauer (Germany), and Lilian Kennedy (United Kingdom) as the MAYS representatives.

Furthermore, we are happy to announce that in line with the particular role and function of our network in the European context we decided to change the network’s name to Medical Anthropology Europe (in short: MAE).

2. Future Activities

During our members’ meeting at the 2018 EASA conference in Stockholm, we discussed the various activities that the members of the network were interested to organize in the future. Building on these ideas, we held an internal board meeting in Berlin in May 2019, where we brainstormed and planned how we can realize some of these activities during our tenure.

In particular, we discussed the overall vision of the network for the coming years and the particular role and function it can play in the European context, for instance with regard to its potentials for becoming more involved in public debates, e.g. on health and migration and Global Health. Furthermore, we discussed the visibility of the network with regard to its website and its presence on social media, and are happy to announce that we are in the process of updating our website (https://www.easaonline.org/networks/medical/). We have also set up our own twitter account (https://twitter.com/medanteurope?lang=de; @MedAntEurope) and invite you to follow our news there; you are also welcome to submit your news for both our Twitter and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MedAntEurope/) accounts through the respective moderators: Davide Casciano ( and Natashe Lemos Dekker () for Twitter. Last but not least, we explored possibilities for future collaboration with the Medical Anthropology Young Scholars (MAYS), one of our network’s most active interest groups which is currently chaired by Ursula Probst (Berlin) and Francesca Cancelliere (Lisbon).

In all these regards, the future course and face of our network are mostly dependent on our members, as well as their willingness and interest to keep the network as active as it has been over the past 13 years. We therefore invite your input and feedback and ask that you send your suggestions and expressions of interests for future network activities to Hansjörg Dilger () and Bernhard Hadolt (). We look forward to hearing from you!

3. Medical Anthropology Young Scholars (MAYS)

MAYS is having its 10-year anniversary this year which we will be celebrating at our annual meeting at the University of Turin on 4-5 July, 2019. Following the theme “Being There. Medical Anthropology in Action” we will discuss contemporary methodological and ethical challenges for junior and early career scholars during fieldwork. The full program, including key notes and workshops, will be announced on our website (https://mayseasa.org/) in May.

With the help of ten regional liaisons we are also currently updating the “Wider MedAnth Community” section of our website to provide (prospective) students with more relevant information about Medical Anthropology in Europe and beyond. The update will go online in June/July.

To find out more about MAYS or get in touch with us, visit our website or join our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/310791529039234/)

Energies and technologies futures, EAN/FAN joint workshop

Lyon, June 20/21st 2019

Event website: https://etechfutures.sciencesconf.org/

For over a century, predictions about the future have been dominated by technological fantasies, either with utopian or dystopian outcomes. Driven increasingly by responses to the causes and effects of climate change, popular political future imaginaries span elitist extraplanetary survivalism and back-to-the-land minimalism. Anthropologists have emphasised the social and material forms of technology, and the need to analyse and account for visions of the future and attend to socio-material relations between technologies, humans and other living beings in a shared environment.

FAN explores the anthropological potential for future-oriented methodologies, while EAN generates knowledge on approaches energetic practices of various kinds. This workshop brings these two concerns together, to generate synergies, theoretical trajectories and newly shared research agendas. Where do energy and technology futures intersect? How are human futures implicated in diverse techno-energetic visions? What alternative other human futures are possible in the current techno-energetic world than those extremes delineated above of extraplanetary survivalism and back-to-the-land minimalism? How can anthropologists account for- and intervene- and take part in forging in futures-generation?

The aim is to demonstrate that two relatively new areas of anthropological research and practice can work together to consolidate an agenda for research and intervention. It seeks to both impact on the theory and methodology of the discipline and to advance an anthropological approach to energy futures in an interdisciplinary research field.

Scientific committee
Pr. Simone Abram, Durham University
Dr. Débora Lanzeni, DLRC Aarhus University
Dr. Nathalie Ortar, LAET, ENTPE-University of Lyon
Pr. Sarah Pink, Monash University
Dr. Karen Waltorp, Aarhus University

HOAN: the History of Anthropology Network

HOAN, re-established as an EASA network in 2016, now has over 200 members, including an advisory board and 11 correspondents. Between December 2016 and March 2019 the network convenors have distributed 10 newsletters with detailed information on past and upcoming events, recent publications, and ongoing research projects among its members. The network is cooperating closely with the editors of the online encyclopaedia Bérose: BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology.

Apart from distributing a newsletter, HOAN organises workshop and panels, and attentitvely follows the provenance and restitution debate, as well as discussions on colonial anthropology and ethnography prior to 1922. Anyone interested in proposing a history of anthropology panel or presenting a paper at the next EASA conference at Lisbon in 2020, please contact the network convenors: Frederico Delgado Rosa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa-CRIA/FCSH, Lisbon, Portugal) fdelgadorosa(AT)fcsh.unl.pt or Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany) vermeulen(AT)eth.mpg.de.

The History of Anthropology Network (HOAN), re-established as an EASA network in 2016, now has over 200 members, including an advirsory board and 11 correspondents. Between December 2016 and March 2019 the network convenors have distributed 10 newsletters with detailed information on past and upcoming events, recent publications, and ongoing research projects among its members. The network is cooperating closely with the editors of the online encyclopaedia Bérose: BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology.

Apart from distributing a newsletter, HOAN organises workshop and panels, and attentitvely follows the provenance and restitution debate, as well as discussions on colonial anthropology and ethnography prior to 1922. Anyone interested in proposing a history of anthropology panel or presenting a paper at the next EASA conference at Lisbon in 2020, please contact the network convenors: Frederico Delgado Rosa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa-CRIA/FCSH, Lisbon, Portugal) fdelgadorosa(AT)fcsh.unl.pt or Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany) vermeulen(AT)eth.mpg.de.

Mediterraneanist Network (MedNet) 2019 workshop

The future(s) of the Mediterranean between uncertainties and resilience
24-26 October 2019 at Turin, Italy.

See: https://www.easaonline.org/networks/mednet/events

The 2019 MedNet workshop is hosted jointly by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences (DFE) and the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society (CPS) of the Università di Torino and is open to all scholars doing anthropological research in the Mediterranean region.

Workshop theme:

In contrast to some public discourses, which see Mediterranean societies associated with backwardness or which focus mainly on the current economic and political crisis of Mediterranean region, we want to introduce a fresh approach. In this workshop, we approach the Mediterranean as a place in which new ideas and understandings of future(s) are arising as people are trying to find ways to face the uncertainties in their lives. A key element in creating (or recreating) possible futures is often resilience, a concept currently quite widespread among media, institutions and civil society, which deserves, as we think, a careful analysis by anthropology too. As very timely topics, futures and resilience are still under-researched in studies on the Mediterranean region, and this workshop will help to cover a significant gap.

We invite contributions on a range of topics including but not limited to:

  • how the future is understood and related with uncertainty and possibilities, and how this social imaginary is related to local actors’ capacity to aspire?
  • the cultural and social conditions of resilience of local actors and groups.
  • the role of media, citizens’ activities, organisations, in creating ideas of the future and building up resilience.
  • the multiple forms and activities of open and political, social, economic and symbolic resistance and protest.

Convenors: Jutta Lauth Bacas, Carlo Capello and Panas Karampampas

ANTHROMOB network meeting, Barcelona, 6-8 November 2019

The ANTHROMOB (Anthropolgy and Mobility) network is happy to announce its bi-annual network meeting "Mobility and the Future of Work" which will be held at the University of Barcelona from 6 to 8 of November 2019. All the information can be found on the homepage https://mobilityandfuture2019.home.blog/ and is also distributed via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/anthromob/ and mailing list http://lists.easaonline.org/listinfo.cgi/mobility-easaonline.org.

Book series Berghahn "Worlds in Motion"
ANTHROMOB offers its members the opportunity to publish both monographs and edited volumes as part of the Berghahn "Worlds in Motion" book series. This transdisciplinary series features empirically grounded studies from around the world that disentangle how people, objects, and ideas move across the planet. With a special focus on advancing theory as well as methodology, the series considers movement as both an object and a method of study.

See: https://berghahnbooks.com/series/worlds-in-motion

Report on the LAWNET workshop: “Concepts, paradigms and slogans – From human rights to human dignity and sustainability”,

Convened by Reetta Toivanen, Miia Halme-Tuomisaari and Jane Cowan
University of Helsinki on Friday 24th May 2019

The aim of this workshop was to bring together anthropologists working in the anthropology of governance, rights and law to discuss, generate and, where appropriate, define/redefine key concepts, paradigms and familiar slogans that frame practices and performances of governance. We invited individual and panel proposals that investigate—ethnographically, theoretically, ethically— the terms of debate and action in specific contexts of governance at local, national and international level, as well as how they shift or are contested. ‘Sustainability’ constitutes one exemplary case of a discourse that in recent years has become increasingly central within global governance, prompting the question: what is entailed in the apparent shift from human rights toward human dignity and sustainability? What changes can be identified, where do they come from, and what do they express? More generally, what and who are such new or subtly shifting paradigms serving? The workshop offered an opportunity to consider ethnographically grounded explorations on the meanings and consequences of concepts, paradigms and slogans as they endure or alter.

Organized together with the European Association for Social Anthropology, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives, University of Helsinki