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Encountering uncertainties: ethnographic methods and national traditions [SIEF Working Group Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis HACA and EASA-Network History of Anthropology Network HOAN] 
Hande Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe Universität)
Katre Kikas (Estonian Literary Museum)
Konrad Kuhn (University of Innsbruck)
Fabiana Dimpflmeier ('Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara)
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Daniela Salvucci (Free University of Bolzano-Bozen)
Kaisa Langer (TU Dresden)
Fabiana Dimpflmeier ('Gabriele d'Annunzio' University of Chieti-Pescara)
Dani Schrire (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Historical Approaches
Thursday 8 June, -, Friday 9 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

Uncertainties play a great role in anthropological knowledge, theorization and methodology, as well as history-writing. We invite scholars to explore uncertainties as theme, occasion, and context of research in our disciplinary pasts. What can uncertainties teach us for the present and future?

Long Abstract:

Uncertainties can arise from major crises -- environmental disasters, economic upheavals, wars and pandemics. They can also proliferate in everyday crises and conflicts, emerging from large and small ruptures in the web of life. As such, uncertainties prompt epistemological questions and methodological quandaries in the hopes to understand, make sense, and reshape our worlds. Today-as yesterday-anthropology thrives, as Susana Narotzky puts it, "at the point of conflict, where things 'go wrong', where there is loss, or anger, or pain" (Narotzky 2023, in preparation). Our panel explores lessons to take from our disciplinary pasts dealing with different uncertainties and their implications for our disciplinary futures. How did uncertainties, great and small, in daily life and long durées, affect the development of ethnographic issues in different political and research contexts? What methods did socio-cultural anthropologists and folklorists develop for dealing with uncertainties and to what success? If fieldwork itself can be conceptualized as the way ethnographers used to engage with uncertainties, how was it uniquely deployed in national traditions? Which methods of dialogue, documentation, data collection, but also engagement and commitment of the researcher in the context of study were used? What specific research traditions did emerge in concurrence and/or after the affirmation of Malinowskian classical fieldwork? How can these differing responses help us understand and represent the worlds we operate in diversity? With such questions and more, we want to shed light on alternative disciplinary models and practices that are capable of elaborating different ways of approaching crisis in current times.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 8 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 9 June, 2023, -