IAA Annual Meeting 2016: Call for Papers

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The 44th Annual Meeting of the Israeli Anthropological Association

Kinneret Academic College, 8-9 June 2016


Ethnographies in/of Accelerated Presents: Between Anthropology and History

How can we understand ‘ethnographic presents’ in a world in which time seems to be rushing at unprecedented speed? How do communities tell stories of pasts and futures and shape identities in a reality in which rules and powers are in constant flux? What methodological tools can anthropology develop to deal with the challenges of documentation, interpretation and writing in times of accelerated change?

The emergence of anthropology in the early 20th-century was linked to its foundation as a field-based, “grounded” form of knowledge. The discipline distinguished itself from contemporaneous (evolutionist and diffusionist) intellectual projects, which sought to understand “culture” by locating it on historical and teleological axes of development. In spite of its attempts to distinguish itself from history, over the past century, anthropological research has manifested both overt and covert interchanges between the two disciplines. History and anthropology might be thought of as two disciplinary strategies that remove social orders from the realm of the taken-for-granted, rendering them less self-evident: while history moves along the temporal axis, anthropology examines relevant issues in intercultural space.

In order to understand the human condition in fields in which people and communities are faced with constant movement and flux, contemporary anthropological projects are called to pay more attention to the temporal axis. The emergence of new technologies and forms of knowledge, new organizational patterns, changing material environments and climates – all these demand new methodological and analytical approaches. Likewise, new-old forms of religiosity and spirituality; ethics and morality; violence and compassion; disease, health and healing; migration and rootedness – all invite anthropologists to reflect on the paths of development of these phenomena as told and understood from different points of view in the field.

This year’s annual meeting of the Israel Anthropological Association offers an opportunity to reflect on the “temporal axis” as both emic and etic conceptualization, and particularly on the human condition in areas where people and communities are faced with profound and increasingly rapid changes. Among other topics, we will discuss possible intersections of anthropology and history, and the potential methodological and theoretical contributions that such intersections may inspire. We welcome studies of anthropological projects in which the temporal axis plays an important role in anthropologists’ efforts to comprehend and interpret their findings.

We invite participants in the meeting to propose lectures and panels that deal, among other issues, with the following topics:

  • Sites of multiple narratives and histories
  • Collective memories, organizational, institutional and state projects of creating historical narratives
  • Histories of anthropology
  • Anthropology of historians and historians of anthropology
  • History, gender and historical narrative (his-story and her-story)
  • Ethnicity, migration, and refugees: narratives of belonging and displacement
  • New forms of governmentality
  • New technologies and their emergent moral economies
  • Development of new forms of religiosity and spirituality
  • Changing conceptions of human-animal and human-environment relations
  • New imaginations of the future
  • Changes in strategies of anthropological research and of writing that derive from such changes

We welcome suggestions for panels and lectures for the annual meeting. Priority will be given to panels that correspond with the conference theme.

Please suggest panels that are organized around a central theme or topic. We also encourage proposals for posters. For further information, please see the Annual Meeting webpage in the IAA website (https://isranthro.org).

Application forms are in Hebrew, for help, please contact us by email: isranthro@gmail.com

The deadline for submissions is March 10 2016.