Hope, futures and worldmaking: critical anthropology beyond the tropes of suffering
Martin Hebert (Université Laval)
Cristhian Teofilo da Silva (Universidade de Brasilia)
Worlds in motion: Worlds, Hopes and Futures/Mondes en mouvement: Mondes, espoirs et futurs
SITE B0138
Start time:
5 May, 2017 at 8:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel brings together anthropological experiences that reach beyond the "suffering subject" as a representation of Indigenous Peoples in colonial situations. The objective is to examine avenues for an anthropology that is relevant to opening up possibilities, desires, and futures.

Long abstract:

Calls for renewed anthropological attention to aspirations, hopes, utopias, and futures have multiplied over recent years. They have come from within the discipline, from our research partners, as well as from other scholars and activists preoccupied with the foreclosing of possibilities that the "end of history" ideology seems to take for granted. Anthropology has made many important theoretical and ethnographic contributions to our understanding of social and cultural suffering and resistance in colonial settings and power asymmetric structures. The present panel seeks to build on this critical anthropology. However, following other authors (Marcus and Fischer 1986, Robbins 2013, Ortner 2016), we recognize the theoretical and political limits of framing critical anthropology within the boundaries of multifaceted reduction, resilience and resistance, all defined in relation to the violence of a given situation. By discussing various case studies relating to Indigenous peoples of the Americas in a comparative perspective, we will examine the ways in which anthropology can better account for, and enter in closer dialogue with various forms of constituent imaginations, be they hopes, utopian desires, life projects, scenarios of autonomy and self-determination, bien vivir and other forms of possibilities and futures actively made today. The panel welcome papers that address concrete experiences and experiments in alternative world-making in the Americas. We announce an emphasis on Indigenous contexts, but we also encourage contributions in which hopes, futures and utopias cut across worlds and ethnicities.