In this lab, we’ll investigate the transformations of the classic theme of representation in anthropology. The aim of the lab is to explore the concept of self-hetero-representation by encouraging participants to initiate a dialogue with informants on Facebook.
The topic of representation is a classic issue in anthropology. In the history of anthropology, theoretical debates revolved around figuring scientifically and ethically appropriate ways to construct and communicate knowledge "about" the "Other". Massimo Canevacci (2013) argues that digital technologies promoted a shift on the "communicational division of labour" placing self-representation at the centre of contemporary politics. Our laboratory will explore how the global diffusion of digital culture pose challenges to interdisciplinary conversation investigating the concept of "self-hetero-representation" as a means to analyse the theoretical consequences of the emergence of digital culture. The laboratory will take place on Facebook during the entire conference and participants will be invited to two conference sessions: a kick-off meeting (3 hours) on the first day of the conference and an assessment meeting on the last day (3 hours). On the first meeting, we will debate the concept of "self-hetero-representation" and share experiences of conducting research and/or "keeping in touch" with informants on Facebook. We will also think of a suitable title for a Facebook group and a working methodology to interact with informants through this same group. In doing so, we will elaborate a set of assessment criteria to evaluate the ethical dilemmas and the epistemological outcomes that will emerge through the experiment. On the second meeting, the assessment meeting, we will explore the consequences of this experiment by commenting on the issues that emerge through the interaction of researcher and participants in an online platform.