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Love as a force of un/doing: ethnographic reflections 
Susanne Bregnbaek (University College Copenhagen)
Tine Gammeltoft (University of Copenhagen)
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Tine Gammeltoft (University of Copenhagen)
Anne Line Dalsgård (Aarhus University)
Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Accounts of love are abundant in literary, philosophical, and artistic work, but less so in anthropology. What constitutes love culturally around the world? How does love do and undo us as singular individuals and as communities? How can we “undo” anthropology to capture love ethnographically?

Long Abstract:

Hannah Arendt famously argued that love is “not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political forces (Arendt 1958:242).” How does this resonate with ethnographic insights? Accounts of love are abundant in literary, philosophical, and artistic work, but less so in anthropology. We therefore propose examining what constitutes love in different socio-cultural contexts and intersubjective relationships around the world. How does love become a force of un/doing? How can we “undo” anthropology in such a way that we can capture love ethnographically?

Wishing to escape European romanticism we understand love not only in an ethereal and idealized form but as a practiced, embodied, experienced, contested, endured, longed for, desired, denied, repressed, awaited, fulfilled or unrequited force of life. We invite presenters to examine the cultural idioms and repertoires that give shape to “love,” but we also aim to move beyond cultural tropes to explore love phenomenologically – as a subjective and intersubjective experience – and socially, as a force of power and politics, a matter of doing and undoing. In this way, we wish to examine person-centered accounts of love, be they romantic, conjugal, filial, sexual, religious, etc., while also considering love as a political force. A force that may drive human efforts to address problems such as capitalism, colonialism, or climate change, and also a force with darker potentials. This panel explores the ethnography of love as a way of exploring how other ways of being can be “done” together.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -