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Accepted Paper:

Do the Authors Live in many Locations?: Prefixed Readership as the Perils of Anthropological Knowledge  


Manas Chowdhury (Jahangirnagar University)

Paper short abstract:

With ever-evolving spaces the perception of authorship has changed towards the new mode of agencies. But (co)authorship is not likely to change the system of meanings. Without reconfiguring the concepts, categories, premises, co-authorship would only aid to specific cultural projects.

Paper long abstract:

Authorship and agency are much of a crucial area of discussion in the recent decades, not only in core anthropological practices, but also in broader humanities and liberal studies. Founded mostly in the history of colonization and masculinities, the debate pointed at many tendencies, as well as opened up many possibilities, of knowledge production across the national borders. However, the interlocutors of these concepts often assumed texts and other expressions as to be the testimony of their authors' agency. It thus reduced agency as an act of creating (or co-creating in certain contexts) texts or (artistic) expressions, dissociating the realm of meanings those production could be read within. Readership, on the other hand, is constituted through a series of negotiations with the historical structures and political relations of the stakes, and is prevailing over the subjects themselves.

With ever-evolving spaces for texts and artistic practices and growing experimentation from the authoritative academic entities, the perception of authorship has changed towards the new mode of agencies. It revealed different forms of partnership in artistic practices and textual production. However, (co)authorship has not that appeared to pose critical understanding of, or radical alternative to, the system of meanings and the ways they are perceived in a certain historical structure. Without reconfiguring the concepts, categories, premises, co-authorship or co-creation can only aid to the cultural project of pluralism or 'melting-pot'. It may end up like as feminist poet Jo Carrillo once wrote 'Our white sisters/ radical friends/ love to own pictures of us'.

Panel P082
New Horizons for Anthropological Authorship: Co-creation and the Production of Knowledge in Times of Global Change