Accepted Paper:

East looks east: Slovenian and Chinese (post)socialisms compared  


Maja Veselič (University of Ljubljana)

Paper short abstract:

The paper compares mutual constructions of foreign and local anthropologies in cases of Slovenia/Yugoslavia and China.

Paper long abstract:

Similar to Central and Eastern Europe, in the People's Republic of China (PRC) socio-cultural anthropology in its Western form has gained a great influence and popularity in the recent years both in terms of theoretical approaches and fieldwork practices. Reflecting on my education and training in Slovenia as well as fieldwork experience in the PRC I compare mutual constructions of foreign and local ethnologies/anthropologies in the cases of Slovenia and China. Familiarity with Slovenian discussions at the time of (explicit) introduction of cultural anthropology into the name and curriculum of my home department in the 1990s informs my understanding of current Chinese debates on ethnology (minzuxue) and nativization (bentuhua) of cultural anthropology. Furthermore, I examine my own shifting positionality among the various sets of ethnological and anthropological traditions throughout different stages of my PhD research. I consider these issues by focusing on two examples: the different ways foreign and domestic scholars have dealt with issues of religion, ethnicity and state policy among Bosnian and Chinese Muslims and the extent the concept of postsocialism can be a useful analytical tool for understanding contemporary China.

Panel W095
East looks West and West looks East - mutual constructions of anthropology