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Speak15a


The responsibilities of writing I 
Convenors:
Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths)
Alpa Shah (LSE)
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Stream:
Who Speaks and for Whom?
Sessions:
Wednesday 31 March, 14:15-15:45 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

What are our responsibilities in writing as anthropologists in 2020 and beyond? How do we navigate the multiple conflicting pressures within academia and the volatile environment outside it? Who are our audiences? How do we reach them? If writing differently is sometimes risky, who incurs the risk?

Long Abstract

What are our responsibilities in writing as anthropologists in 2020 and beyond? Why and how should we keep writing? Who are our audiences? How do we navigate the multiple conflicting pressures within and outside the academy? On the one hand, we are being asked to prove our public engagement and impact whilst often writing about things which raise complex issues regarding ethics and confidentiality. On the other hand, we are subject to different academic evaluation criteria for job applications, tenure, promotions and REF. What role do different forms of writing in anthropology play in an increasingly volatile landscape both within and outside academia? What, if anything, is distinctive about anthropological writing? Should it engage or merge with other forms of writing such as poetry; fiction; blogs; journalism; creative non-fiction? What are the consequences of writing in different genres and writing with and for different audiences? If such an enterprise is risky, who incurs the risks? What happens when anthropological knowledge takes on new forms, enters new spaces of circulation and becomes amplified, silenced or contested in unexpected ways? What should be the responsibilities of institutions and departments of anthropology in nurturing and protecting different forms of writing in the discipline? We invite those who have experience-based reflections on these issues to join our panel.

Accepted papers: