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European Anthropology as a Fortuitous Accident?

Reflections on the Sustainability of the Field

Čarna Brković

Abstract

Under what conditions does European anthropology emerge today as an intellectual project? European anthropology takes shape only provisionally, as a fractured, heterogeneous and uneven field, for the duration of time-limited research projects and meetings with Europe-wide participation. In the currently dominant socio-economic conditions of academic life, European anthropology as an intellectual project has little chance to develop, except as an accident. And yet, with more institutional stability for researchers and their conversations, European anthropology could be turned into a more inspiring intellectual endeavour that challenges the classic Anglo-Saxon way of understanding anthropology as a conceptual translation between ‘our’ modern and ‘Other’ worlds; it could also help us to reimagine the world anthropologies framework through the postsocialist and postcolonial lens as something other than a ‘family of nations’.