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Challenges and opportunities of shared precarities in the field [Roundtable] 
Olivia Casagrande (University of Manchester)
Viola Castellano (Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning)
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Mariya Ivancheva (University of Strathclyde)
Who Speaks and for Whom?
Monday 29 March, 11:15-12:45 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

The roundtable is addressed to early-career scholars and asks how to critically document and engage with forms of precarity lived and witnessed in the field, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities they present to anthropology's epistemic crisis and the possibility for "thick solidarity"

Long Abstract

This roundtable is addressed to early-career scholars and takes into account a specific triangulation happening in contemporary anthropology: the shrinking of academic employment, the political and epistemic crisis of (European) anthropology, and precarity as a generational condition affecting both ethnographers and research participants. In so doing the roundtable wants to interrogate the pitfalls, struggles, challenges as well as opportunities arising from such configuration, dialoguing with the EASA Report "The anthropological career in Europe" (Fotta, Ivancheva & Pernes, 2020).In the wake of calls for responsibility in the field of anthropology and to "Raising our voice" (AAA, 2020), early-career researchers' risk to bear the weight to redeem the discipline while struggling in the bounded condition of generational precarity. If precarity is "the multiple forms of nightmarish dispossession and injury that our age entails" (Muehlebach 2013), what does it mean for precarious anthropologists to be subjected and, at the same time, to bear witness of its various degrees of dispossession? Instead of uniforming the experience of precarity in the name of generational proximity, imagining racial capitalism as an epistemic and material steamroller flattening global inequalities, the panel asks how to critically document and engage with the multiple forms of precarity lived and witnessed in the field. We welcome contributions reflecting on the potential for "thick solidarity" (Liu and Shange 2018) entailed in a shared condition of precariousness and confronting simultaneously the power differentials engrained in ethnographic practice and in the epistemic status of anthropology as an historical "white public space" (Jobson, 2019).

Accepted papers:

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