P18
#MeToo, revelatory moments, and structural invisibility in anthropology
Convenor:
MeTooAnthro Collective
Format:
Roundtables
Location:
STB 1, Science Teaching Building
Sessions:
Tuesday 3 December, 16:15-18:00

Short abstract:

The #MeToo movement has centred on revelatory moments. Whilst at its core, the movement is intended to offer increased visibility and empowerment, it is important to acknowledge and address why some voices remain unheard or ignored, and illuminate that which continues to be structurally hidden.

Long abstract:

Since its emergence in late 2017, the #MeToo movement has centred on revelatory moments. Calling out and naming perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment, exposing predatory practices, or simply sharing a 'me too' without context has provided a mechanism for disrupting silence and challenging salient power structures. As a movement that has entered everyday, public discourse, #MeToo has now come to permeate academic institutions and professional associations. Whilst at its core, the movement is intended to offer visibility and empowerment, it is important to acknowledge and address why some voices remain unheard or ignored, and illuminate that which continues to be structurally hidden. Structural invisibility and representation can be found in the question 'can the subaltern speak?' (Spivak 1988) and intersectional critical race theory (initiated by Crenshaw 1991), and frameworks of activist anthropology. Taking cues from these critical modes of analysis, we aim to think beyond #MeToo as the mobilisation of collective action, and examine what creates the conditions for silence within the academe. This roundtable is concerned with the limits of this movement and how 'exposure' can be reoriented towards those who have been (both historically and contemporarily) removed or silenced from anthropological conversations. The roundtable encourages provocations that address the following, and beyond: • Queering knowledge • Indigenous lifeworlds • The precariously employed • Disability in the field By critiquing affordances of visibility and notions of academic authority, this roundtables commits to returning epistemological space to those who are underrepresented, or catalogued, rather than given voice.