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Witnessing violence and undoing entrenched pedagogies in times of crisis 
Franziska Fay (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz)
Cristiana Strava (Leiden University)
Caitlin Procter (Geneva Graduate Institute)
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Thursday 25 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Bearing witness to violence is often part of anthropologists’ work in the field and in the academy. This panel asks how the implications of such experiences affect how we understand the idea of witnessing, to what extent it shapes our theorizing, and how it undoes our pedagogies in times of crisis.

Long Abstract:

Witnessing violence is an ordinary part of many anthropologists’ work in the field. This panel engages with the implications of such experiences for how we understand the concept of witnessing itself, how it shapes our theorizing, and to what extent it may act as a catalyst for undoing and rethinking established pedagogies in times of crisis.

In order to think about witnessing beyond the anthropologist-as-witness first and by way of a redistribution of the ‘weight of witnessing’ (Fay 2023), we are interested in rethinking what our disciplinary and pedagogical responsibilities may be in this age of multiple, intersecting, and compounded crises.

Imbued with political affect, the continuous witnessing of the violence that surrounds us, and that we critically share with our interlocutors and students, constantly undoes us in our roles as observers, practitioners, theoreticians and educators.

In conversation with notions of ‘ethnographic witnessing’ (McGranahan 2020) and ‘Witnessing 2.0’ (Thomas 2019) we invite anthropologists to reflect on the role and meaning of witnessing as a relational process present in our own engagements with methodologies, theorizing, and ethical commitments. What does an anti-hegemonic understanding of communal witnessing, particularly vis-à-vis everyday violence, do to our being and working together? How do messy modes of witnessing shape how we make sense of worlds? Who are we witnessing for and to what ends? How do different technologies, platforms, and mediums for documenting our witnessing impact its intended and unintended efficacy? And how does our witnessing and collectively constituted knowing affect our pedagogical ethos and practice?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -