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Accepted Paper:

The Field is Upon Us: Anti-Fascist Anthropology as Ethical Imperative  
Adrienne Pine

Paper short abstract:

To propose an antifascist anthropology (vs. an anthropology of fascism) is to take an explicit political stance. In this paper, I argue that antifascist anthropology can be a key tool in the broader, urgent struggle against global fascism, but only in the form of strategic, solidarity ethnography.

Paper long abstract:

Today, we confront existential threats to humanity—including the possibility of nuclear war and certainty of global warming—that are inextricable from neoliberal fascist and more traditional fascist processes. Anthropologists who study fascism from various ethnographic perspectives select subjects and sites (located almost exclusively outside academia) that we identify with fascism in order to do so. Traditional approaches to hierarchical anthropological dichotomies reifying researcher/subject and home/field have long been critiqued as racist and colonialist. Yet the notion persists that academics are somehow immune to the embodiment of fascism, and that the ivory tower is a fascism-free space. Similarly, we are told that when we apply our work to the “real world,” our “engagement” must take the form of pragmatic solidarity or policy advising—rather than revolutionary anti-fascist struggle—even when our collective survival is at stake.

To propose an antifascist anthropology (vs. an anthropology of fascism) is to take an explicit political stance. In this paper, I argue that antifascist anthropology must take the form of strategic, solidarity ethnography. Framing our work as strategic solidarity ethnography requires us to reimagine the ethnographic project—currently structured by individualistic neoliberal logics of funding and employment—as instead part of a collective, emancipatory project of anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist struggle. Drawing on urgent contemporary case studies, I explore how an anti-fascist anthropology employing such an approach, from research question and methodology design to data analysis and dissemination of results, can be a revolutionary tool—in contrast with research produced within institutional logics aligned with neoliberal fascism.

Panel P162a
Can There Be an Antifascist Anthropology? [ANTHROFA Network Panel]
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -