Accepted Paper:

Generous engagements: towards an ethics of generosity in the classroom and beyond.  
Elena Liber (Goldsmiths)

Paper short abstract:

Engaging with the question - can we apply the same analytic generosity to academics and students as we do to fieldwork participants? - this paper explores the possibility of employing an ethics of generosity and care to transform the space of the seminar and the classroom.

Paper long abstract:

Engaging with students and colleagues within the discipline of anthropology necessitates a high level of analytic generosity. When teaching and guiding students it is crucial to facilitate a space where difficult topics can be discussed and difficult conversations can be had. This requires a high level of care and attention to those present in the room as peers, students and colleagues. So often the setting of the seminar or the classroom becomes a space of competition, pitching one idea against another with one emerging victorious. Might employing an ethics of generosity help transform these spaces in to sites of mutual knowledge production? Through listening generously, critiquing generously and disagreeing generously a space can be built for engaging with many of the crucial but difficult conversations we are having within the discipline.

Students want to engage with the conversations we are having surrounding decolonising or decentring anthropology, yet many of us shy away from having these discussions for fear of disrupting the space of classroom. Based on experience of teaching and engaging with the academy post-fieldwork this paper will explore how employing an ethics of generosity can transform the space of the seminar and the classroom and provide the possibility of engaging with the conversations that are shaping our discipline. Drawing on the work of bell hooks this paper will think through the idea of building an academic community based on an ethics of generosity and care.

Panel B08
Generosity and analysis