Building on the proposition that anthropologists working in each other's home areas demonstrate a relatively equal form of scholarship in a discipline that suffers from accusations of hierarchy, we seek now further to understand and share the variety of approaches applied from our locations of study
At the IUAES meeting in Tokyo last May, a panel of six participants considered the advantages of comparing the approaches of anthropologists who had worked in each other's home territories. Probably because of the location, most of the panelists were Japanese, who had worked in Europe (Germany, Spain and England), but two invited Europeans had worked in Japan, and one project involved cooperation between Japanese and Americans on a museum-based material culture project in England. We talked of the advantages of the shared approach, and the way this kind of mutual exchange can benefit the discipline by offering a relatively equal and unbiased forum for building mutual understanding without the disadvantages associated with historical legacies of, for example, colonialism. Japanese scholars examine the Enlightenment categories and presuppositions that structure European anthropology as they open their papers, and one co-convenor, Joy Hendry, works with indirect forms of communication, such as wrapping, politeness, clothes, use of space, and the organization of time. For this laboratory, we invite proposals collaboratively to look at the influence of other indigenous intellectual traditions on the way that scholars see the world they seek to analyze. One example from co-convenor Will Tuladhar-Douglas, who works in Nepal, is to consider Buddhist ideas of anthropology, or even a "garland of anthropologies", and we propose a laboratory to encourage mutuality, to avoid the limitations of text-based presentations, and to be open to all possibilities for demonstration and discussion. The laboratory is open to all comers to participate.