P18
The anthropology of connections: ethnography, archive and language in the work of Professor Tristan Platt

Convenors:
Christos Lynteris (University of St Andrews)
Sabine Hyland (University of St. Andrews)
Location:
Appleton Tower, Lecture Theatre 1
Start time:
20 June, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

In relation to Tristan Platt's work, the panel explores critical connections between history and anthropology in the examination of metallurgy/mining, ritual and material Andes-lowlands relations, the interplay of oral/graphic technologies and the ethnohistory of tribute, citizenship and the state. The panel languages will be Spanish and English.

Long abstract:

Tristan Platt's work approaches Anthropology and History through the prism of the Andes, Bolivia and connected histories. Between the archive and the field, it takes theoretical cues from the historical processes, everyday activities and political predicaments of his ethnographic subjects. Understanding their testimonies involves the contextualization and close interpretation of oral and graphic traces and technologies. These reveal people in relationships, mediating state and colonial practices, and the persistence and emergence of changing societies at the subaltern margins of the world economy under the ambivalent signs of protection, caring, extirpation and "freedom". Questions of alterity, mestizaje, negotiation and exploitation frame modern and ancient Andean subjects whose regional roots are more concealed than the external pressures and opportunities. But the exploration of Amerindian forms of knowledge and communication also involves the recognition of connected historical processes unfolding in other continents. These are revealed through the transhistorical clash and negotiation of technologies, political theories, artistic practices and religious beliefs. Platt's studies of these issues imply a merging of theory and practice and have raised debate in and beyond the Andes. The panel languages will be Spanish and English.