P070
Possible/plausible/probable/preferable: concepts and techniques for realising futures [FAN]

Convenors:
Simone Abram (Durham University)
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (York University )
Format:
Panels
Location:
U6-1D
Start time:
20 July, 2016 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The FAN panel explores how anthropology might conceptualize, study, and intervene in futures as modes of world making. It engages with ethnography as a means of interrogating the possible, the mundane, and the speculative, asking what/how cross-disciplinary ethnographic approaches might be crafted.

Long abstract:

EASA FAN's manifesto describes the network as 'stubbornly transdisciplinary and transnational', 'building on traditions and reflecting on pasts'. Responding to the EASA 2016 conference theme "Anthropological Legacies and Human Futures," the FAN panel explores how anthropology might conceptualize, study, and intervene in futures as modes of world making. It specifically engages with ethnography as a means of interrogating the possible, the mundane, and the speculative. It seeks to initiate a conversation on what/how cross-disciplinary ethnographic approaches might be crafted that both account for the future and envision interventionist and anticipatory anthropology. The panel invites papers with a critical disposition to anthropology's historical underpinnings, a focus on lived experience as well as imaginaries, and a cross-disciplinary appreciation of ethnography, who are neither possessive nor defensive about anthropology's methods and ideas. The panel asks: What can we learn from how others use ethnography to investigate the future? What can the anthropological attention to the mundane and the experience-rich offer other disciplinary approaches? What would intervening into futures entail both conceptually and ethnographically? In particular, the panel considers ethnographic border crossings as techniques for researching futures, including visual, auditory, performative, embodied, sensory, and literary experimentation within and outside of anthropology. Themes may (but need not) consider futures as world making, frail futures, future anthropocene, the technical sublime, fiction-archaeology, creation of desire, financial and commercial imaginaries, unsettling ethics, prototyping or scenarios, and future activisms.