P02
Whirls of organisms: forms and movements of life
Convenor:
Hayder Al-Mohammad (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Discussant:
Michal Murawski
Location:
Room 1
Start time:
14 September, 2011 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel is interested in opening the metaphysical and methodological question of what an anthropology which takes movement - understood in the widest sense possible - amongst the whirls and interlacement of organisms as its most basic object of inquiry might look.

Long abstract:

Reconsidering Wittgenstein's 'forms of life', Stanley Cavell arrives at 'whirls of organisms' as a more faithful way of rendering the constitution of beings as grounded in what they do and not what they are. Where philosophers have tended to obsess about the 'forms' in 'forms of life', this panel aims to investigate whether it might be fruitful to think of life as caught up and resident in whirls of organisms and movements. By focusing on the category of life and relating it to movements and whirls has the potential to move anthropology out of taking human-being as the metaphysical and epistemological centre of anthropological inquiry. If what we take as 'the human' are only clusters of corporeal and what we may call 'spiritual' movements which stand-forth against a background of engagements and entwinements with other organisms and entities, then anthropological inquiry might take movements and interlacements amongst the whirls of organisms as the fundamental space of inquiry. This panel is interested in opening the metaphysical and methodological question of what an anthropology which takes movement - understood in the widest sense possible - amongst the whirls of organisms as its most basic object of inquiry might look. This panel, therefore, seeks papers which address the relations between life and movement in a theoretical, methodological or ethnographic context.