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In this panel, we link genealogical with socio-political understandings of 'generation' to investigate how intergenerational relations (re)generate history, and generate change.
Crisis is frequently cast in generational terms: the 'lost generations' of war, genocide, or the AIDS pandemic, for example; or the disinherited generations left to live with the failures of their forebears to avert financial collapse, or climate change. The trauma of these crises are increasingly understood to be inherited across generations, rendering them continuous, chronic, and self-reproducing. Intergenerational thinking is key to describing the moral dimensions of crisis, and to situating it in time - whether by assigning causation and responsibility, conveying urgency, or keeping crisis responses oriented towards the future, hope, and action. And, we suggest, intergenerational friction - whether interpersonal or political - opens up critical opportunities for the recalibration of history, as well as for social transformation.
How do people formulate, deploy, evade or refigure generations in times of crisis? How do generations create (or revive) new sorts of commons, among kin, communities, or across global political spaces? How do bequests, inheritances, and succession figure in personal and collective responses to crisis? And how do these practices - and conflicts that emerge around them - shape understandings of history, and possibilities for the future?
In this panel, we will explore how the idea, discourse and practice of 'generation' tracks changes in social reasoning about the past, present, and future - creating frictions that instigate transformation in relationships, identities, and values in turn. We invite papers that link the genealogical with the socio-political, to invesitgate how intergenerational relations generate history and change in times of chronic crisis.
Melissa Blanchard (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS))
Sergen Bahceci (London School of Economics)
Saskia Jaschek (Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies)