The workshop invites contributions that address the experience and practice of identities/differences in Latin America and its connections to power arrangements from empirical, methodological and theoretical perspectives, superseding separations of materialist and idealist interpretations of experience.
Identity and alterity are constantly important but ever changing topics in the anthropology of Latin America as well as for native intellectuals since the Conquista. While anthropological studies have been traditionally limited to indigenous and peasant groups, they have more recently experienced a great widening of studied groups and themes, including the study of: nationalist ideologies and their transformations by indigenous groups, dominant groups and statuses as being white, Afro-Latin and other groups, media, violence, memory, neoliberal transformations and transnational connections. Though the field prospered in many ways, it seems to us that all these differentiating studies still make vital reference to identity and difference. This leads to a better understanding of its plural power-ridden forms within any group, transcending situationally any social boundaries. In this workshop we want to reflect on the relationship of power, identities and differences, particularly in their interdependence with idealist-discursive and materialist practices. Due to formerly polarised interpretive and political economy approaches, both were commonly investigated as disconnected or uneven domains of life, respectively determining the other. These, however, have increasingly been combined in the last decades, taking into account anthropologists' own self-positioning processes. This workshop invites contributions that explore subjective and collective experiences of identities/differences in relation to power, the manifold arenas of interaction and relationships in which they unfold from empirical, methodological and theoretical perspectives.