Ant04
Reimagining difference: diversity in anthropology
Convenors:
Alison Macdonald (UCL)
Alice Elliot (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Stream:
Anthropology
Format:
Location:
Examination Schools Room 11
Start time:
19 September, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

"Diversity" is one of anthropology's key concerns, yet it is strikingly scarce in the practical experience of teaching and learning the discipline. The panel opens a critical conversation about diversity in anthropology as a way to creatively reimagine what anthropology may be and could become.

Long abstract:

"Diversity" is one of anthropology's core ethnographic concerns and key sources of conceptual excitement - but when it comes to the practical experience of teaching and learning anthropology, diversity is often strikingly absent. Students and academic staff of non-white descent and from non-selective state schools are substantially underrepresented in UK anthropology departments, and anthropology curriculums are coming under increasing scrutiny for the lack of diversity of the thinkers and texts with which students are required to engage. Bringing together anthropology teachers and students, researchers and practitioners, this panel opens a critical conversation about diversity in anthropology as a way to creatively reimagine what anthropology may be and could become. The panel addresses two interrelated themes about "diversity." First, we address practical concerns about and creative engagements with (lack of) diversity within and beyond the anthropology classroom. How might the teaching of anthropology be subject to, and potentially productive of, the intersectional entanglements that constrain diverse participation in the discipline? And how might creative practices of inclusion - from foundation courses to diversifying the curriculum to diverse academic hiring panels - engage with these constraints? Second, the panel aims to open a space where we reflect critically about diversity itself. How may we mobilise our long tradition of producing critical knowledge about diversity to interrogate institutional projects such as 'Widening Participation' and wider public discussions about diversity in the academy? What might an anthropology of the contemporary debate about diversity in academia look like - and why might we need it?