This panel is an exploration in anthropological responses to the global "indigenous presence," one of the undeniable historical signs that mark this century. Its four panelists critically reflect on possibilities and limitations for anthropological practices in often volatile field sites.
This panel is an exploration in anthropological responses to, what James Clifford has termed, the global "indigenous presence," one of the undeniable historical signs that mark this century. Such issues as repatriating patrimonial objects and human remains, revitalizing disappearing languages, mobilizing collectivities through cultural performances, and struggling for collective rights in liberal democracy have surfaced in many settler-nations whose histories of assimilation are now turning in a multicultural direction. This turning, call it a "decentering of progressive narrative of (Western) modernity," has refueled in this century a radical yet constructive critique of anthropology. Some of the questions to be addressed in this panel might include as follows: how is anthropological knowledge renewed, transformed, and rearticulated in the face of "indigenous presence"?; what is a place of anthropological knowledge in indigenous curatorial practices?; how is it possible to denaturalize taken-for-granted notions of modernity and indigeneity?; what are some terms of condition necessary for keeping anthropological knowledge open and non-confrontational? As anthropologists with field experiences in multiple locations, four panelists reflect on the futures of anthropological practices as they face the "indigenous presence": Sachiko Kubota (Kobe University) draws from her experience of working among the Australian Aboriginal people, Mitsuho Ikeda (Osaka University) among the Guatemalan Mam Maya people, Yoshinobu Ota (Kyushu University) among the Guatemalan Kaqchikel Maya people, and Koji Yamasaki (Hokkaido University) among the Japanese Ainu people.