Accepted paper:

Leading anthropologies across the world through crises of representation and representations of crisis

Author:

Noel B. Salazar (KU Leuven)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reflects critically on how well the WCAA has been able to 'represent' various anthropologies (and anthropologists) and what is needed for future improvements.

Paper long abstract:

Most anthropologists are familiar with the 'crisis of representation' that (part of) the discipline faced in the 1980s. This referred to the realization that the representational conventions of the discipline (in its hegemonic centres), and the complacent epistemological stances they supported, were no longer credible. Anthropology has moved on since, in many directions (both geographically and conceptually). Alongside the recently reinvigorated International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) is a relatively young global anthropological body that 'aims to promote worldwide communication and cooperation in anthropology'. This task can only be executed successfully when the people who are active in the WCAA 'know' how anthropology across the globe is understood and practiced and when they 'represent' these various anthropologies (and anthropologists) properly. In this context, representation not only refers to the portrayal of someone or something in a particular way but also to the action of speaking or acting on behalf of a certain constituency. This paper reflects critically on how well the WCAA has been able to do this and what is needed for future improvements. Such a reflection is particularly relevant at a time when anthropology in various corners of the world is facing serious challenges.

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The past and future of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA Tenth Anniversary Symposium) CLOSED