The peripheral is not just a a location or a feeling; it is a form of knowing too. This panel explores the ways in which peripherality can be considered a way of thinking about problems, questions, and evidence, gathering papers that deal with or reflect on edgy methods and politics in anthropology.
This panel is an invitation to rethink how fringeness can be incorporated into ethnographic research as a generative condition, as well as an edgy methodology and conceptual framing for knowledge production. We draw on the assumption that peripherality is not only a space in the making or a marginal condition, but also a form of making theory and a mode of attention that is change oriented, thinking-doing (Simone 2010; Roy 2011); . In anthropological studies, peripheries and margins are presented as imbued with a sense of ambiguity, and often as being misinterpreted by a centre or hidden in the process through which things are made to seem clear, bounded and fixed (Green 2005). A focus on peripherality gives us access to those people, practices and affects that are out of the dominant scope of vision (Khalvashi 2013), revealing complex dependencies that reach both ways - to and from centers and margins. Moreover, peripheries may be seen as grey zones in which the fantasy realm finds its physical location (Scott 2000), or as spaces of marginalia, ex-centricity and renewal (Stewart 1996). Yet the peripheral can also be seen as an invitation to stay with unknowability and make space for it; finding a language to write the invisible (Mittermaier 2017). Thus the panel approaches peripherality not as framed in exclusively geographical terms, but rather as situated at the edge of dominant paradigms. We invite papers that explore how peripheries, and peripheral wisdom, challenge established hierarchies, showing a distinct form of reflexivity and experimentation.