This panel discusses ageing as a focus to rethink anthropological understandings of time. Drawing from both queer theory and the emerging body of scholarship which focuses on the affective experiences of growing old, it considers the creative ways in which people understand and negotiate time.
This panel will discuss ageing as a locus for rethinking anthropological understandings of time. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in temporality (e.g. James and Mills 2005, Ingold 2011). Queer theory has offered innovative ways to understand time and its passing (e.g. Sedgwick 2003, Halberstam 2005). Yet few of these theories draw on the rich perspectives offered by ethnography with the elderly. The anthropology of ageing has provided a wealth of insights on the experiences and feelings of growing old (e.g. Myerhoff 1980, Cohen 1999, Lamb 2000). These depictions offer a window into how we experience past, present and future. Thus, this panel will discuss the anthropology of ageing and queer theory in order to inspire critical conversations on the subject. We take ageing as both a methodological focus and a departure point. It is hoped that such a focus on ageing will enrich theories of temporality and sociality among the elderly. This panel welcomes papers that consider the following issues:
- What can anthropological studies of older people tell us about the way we understand time, including links between past, present and future?
- How do queer theoretical perspectives towards time relate to experiences of ageing? How can we converse with these theories to further anthropological approaches to ageing?
- What are methodological practices that can capture the lives of the elderly?