Jean-François Lyotard's famous characterisation of the postmodern condition as the ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’ (1984: 23–24) has been influential in the anthropology of the 1980s, both in the sense of its internal methodological scepticism and as critical realism that questioned the post-utopian state of the external world that anthropology explored. The anthropology of globalisation and neoliberalism that followed from the 1990s onwards has also stressed presentism and the contemporary as qualities that were to be lived as well as researched without assuming their teleological ends. As observe the guest editors of Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale's special issue ‘Curious Utopias: Dreaming Big Again in the Twenty-first Century?’, Ruth Prince and Tom Neumark, human expectations seemed to have undergone a ‘seismic shift’ away from grand dreams and narratives. But they also note that there has been a ‘concurrent and apparently countervailing trend: a return toward ambitious, even self-asserted utopian imaginations and schemes of economic, political and societal transformation’. Now, this is curious: discredited visions of utopian futures celebrate a return in the worlds studied by anthropology. Using curiosity as both a mode of anthropological inquiry and as a state of utopian imagination, this special issue tries to find a new home for utopia within anthropology.
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Lukas Ley and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Lukas Ley and Nicolai Ssorin-Chaikov
This issue marks the first time that Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale is published by Berghahn Books. It is also the first time the journal is being published in an innovative ’subscribe-to-open’ model, an approach that has the potential to transform scholarly publishing. After a motion proposing the move to Open Access was approved at the EASA conference in Lisbon 2020, the membership voted overwhelmingly to end SA/AS's fifteen year contract with Wiley and move to Berghahn. The move has involved a great deal of careful preparation, and the journal editors would like to thank all those libraries who are continuing to support the journal, as well as the EASA members who are making this transition possible. We trust and hope your libraries will continue to support this sustainable Open Access model. We look forward to SA/AS making the most of the many opportunities this innovation offers. We thank Berghahn Books for its enthusiastic support of this journal during the technical transition and onward.