Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Countering the anthropological metanarrative  
Karen Lane (University of St Andrews)

Paper short abstract:

Belfast is academically stereotyped as a city recovering from conflict and anthropologists have a disciplinary responsibility to counter this metanarrative because it effectively mutes or even silences non-conflict voices. The paper explores how metanarratives occur and how to counterbalance them.

Paper long abstract:

This conference asks whether anthropology should be held responsible for the knowledge it produces? It is probably uncontentious that academics have a responsibility for their individual knowledge-production, but I argue that anthropologists in particular have a disciplinary responsibility for their contribution to, and the effect of, an anthropological metanarrative. Judged by publication output on Northern Ireland, and Belfast in particular, it is almost exclusively analysed, directly or indirectly, as a place and a people of (post) conflict. ‘Belfast, more than many other European cities, has been stereotyped to death’ (Dawe 2003:277); this quote succinctly (and ironically given the language choice) articulates a truism and yet academic stereotyping of Belfast continues unabated, as a city subjected to and recovering from a 30-year civil war fuelled by ethnic and religious division and sectarianism, or research into the ethnic nuances of one or both of the ‘two traditions’ of Catholic nationalism or Protestant unionism. This effectively mutes, or even silences, non-conflict narratives. For a discipline with an uncomfortable history (as part of a colonial project) and one given to disciplinary self-reflection (through a plethora of ‘turns’) this panel gives a timely opportunity to question our collective anthropological responsibility. The paper explores how and why non-conflict research in Belfast is such a minority activity, critiques the discipline’s response, suggests that conflict stereotyping goes beyond Northern Ireland, and offers a pathway for those wishing to research against the grain.

Panel Speak05b
Researching against the grain: correspondence and conflict between individual representation and the anthropological metanarrative II
  Session 1 Tuesday 30 March, 2021, -