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Anthropology complicates futures imagined, predicted or envisaged elsewhere. This FAN panel proposes to discuss how to deal with uneasy entanglements, stakeholders, ethics, accountability and friction in an interventionist future-oriented anthropology. The panel was created by: Debora Lanzeni (Monash University), Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney University), Karen Waltorp (Aarhus University), Sarah Pink (Monash University )
This panel will bring together diverse anthropologists to advance the discipline by working towards an interventional futures anthropology. Our central question is: how can we best harness anthropology's ability to complicate the visions of future imagined by others through an interventional theory and practice.
When the Future Anthropologies Network (FAN) was established in 2014 it brought together a group of over 30 EASA members who collectively drew up a manifesto which stated our commitment to being a recognizable community of anthropologists who are not afraid to be interventionist and interdisciplinary. This established an agenda that supercedes the EASA 2020 Scientific Committee's question: "Should anthropology engage with debates about different possible futures and/or ideas for imagining better societies or socialities?". Instead it acknowledged that anthropology - theoretically and ethnographically - complicates futures imagined, predicted or envisaged elsewhere and that we need to act on this to participate in the constitution of possible futures. The myth of disinterested social science does not hold. Increasingly (the illusion of) any clear divide between basic research and applied research is less relevant than the discussions about how to deal with uneasy entanglements, involvement with stakeholders, ethics, accountability and friction in an interventionist future-oriented anthropology.
We welcome papers that approach this question from a theoretical, methodological and ethnographic view. The panel will bring together a group of anthropologists who wish to discuss this question and aim towards a publication. We are interested in papers from diverse subfields of anthropological interest, research sites and localities.