Western representations of the Other are criticized by anthropologists, but similar hegemonic classifications are present in the relationships between anthropologists who are living in the West and working on the (post-socialist) East, and those working and living in the (post-communist) East. In a hierarchical order of scholars and knowledge, post-socialist anthropologists are often perceived as relics of the communist past: folklorists, theoretically backward empiricists, and nationalists. These images replicate Cold War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigm shifts as well as actual practices triggered by the transnationalization of scholarship. Post-socialist academics either approve of such hegemony or contest this pecking order of wisdom, and their reactions range from isolationism to uncritical attempts at “nesting intellectual backwardness“ in the local context (an effect that trickles down and reinforces hierarchies). Deterred communication harms anthropological studies on post-socialism, the prominence of which can hardly be compared to that of post-colonial studies.
Diversity, equality, and the politics of knowledge
Thomas A. Reuter
Over the last century anthropological studies have served as a testimony to human cultural diversity, as well as highlighting the existential challenges we all share, but the discipline has failed to provide an undistorted mirror of this unity in diversity. Critics from postcolonial studies and within anthropology have argued that anthropological knowledge cannot be universal so long as representatives of only a few privileged nations participate in the process of its construction, and so long as there are significant power differentials among those who do participate. From the perspective of a performance theory of truth, there are two necessary conditions if we wish for anthropology to genuinely reflect the human condition. The first step is to improve global participation in the social production of anthropological knowledge by creating equality within the discipline. The second is to help create a more level playing field in the world at large by challenging abuses of power in contemporary societies. In this article I discuss recent efforts by international organizations in anthropology to satisfy some of these conditions.
Reflections on the Sustainability of the Field
Restrepo's and Arturo Escobar's (2005) call towards a framework for world anthropologies, the ‘Anthropology Otherwise’ workshop was a place where anthropologists from all over Europe discussed different ethnographic traditions and how national and regional
These comments—made originally in my role as discussant for the panel in Ljubljana—address the recent history of the question of world anthropologies and identify three issues for further critical debate: (1) hegemonic claims concerning our discipline (including the issue of hegemony within our discipline), (2) the difference between power and authority, and (3) reasons that alterity continues to be a crucial concept in post-colonial anthropology.
Gustavo Lins Ribiero and Arturo Escobar, eds., World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power David G. Anderson
Juhani Nourluoto, ed., The Slavicization of the Russian North Lenore A. Grenoble
Andrew A. Gentes, Exile, Murder and Madness in Siberia, 1823-61 Anna Bara
Harvard Ayers, Dave Harman, and Landon Pennington, Arctic Gardens: Voices from an Abundant Land Jennifer Fagen
Kuklick, Henrika, ed., A New History of Anthropology David G. Anderson
Laurence C. Smith, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future Alex Blake
Andrzej Weber and Hugh McKenzie, eds., Prehistoric Foragers of the Cis-Baikal, Siberia. Proceedings of the First Conference of the Baikal Archaeology Project Dennis H. O'Rourke
Books Received for Review
The Ontogeny of an Anthropological Epistemology in Eighteenth-Century Scotland
This article seeks to describe the social preconditions of the emergence of science in Scotland since the Enlightenment and what came to be unknown in the process. It addresses the way in which the geologist James Hutton generated a specific category of 'men of scientific observation' as opposed to 'men of common observation'. In doing so, he, like other Enlightenment thinkers, transformed an existing spatial ordering of social relations into a temporal one. This formed one of the early steps in the development of a genuinely anthropological epistemology, whereby knowledge of the human lies with the 'primitive' other and with his or her knowledge of the world. Anthropology is thus the scientific observation of common observation and, as Lévi-Strauss pointed out, a specific form of common observation.
The politics and ethics of collaboration among World Anthropologies
The articles in this theme section are based on papers presented at a three-session workshop on World Anthropologies at the 2008 Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Drawing on analyses of the position of anthropological disciplinary practices in Poland, Spain, Hungary, and the US, as well as their global reception, these articles ask important and timely questions about where anthropologists conduct their research, what professional and academic societies they join, what types of relationships they should forge with scholars who live in the country or nation in which they conduct fieldwork, and how they should engage with other disciplines beyond anthropology. As these articles demonstrate, practices of collaboration are enmeshed in politically, socially, and geographically grounded histories. Although at some level this may not be a surprise to readers, specific issues remain well worth examining further and discussing within the profession.
Knowledge production and the politics of positionality in globalized and neoliberalized times
This theme section seeks to keep alive important debates about the place of anthropology in the world that have been raised periodically since the 1970s, and most recently in a special issue of this journal entitled “Changing Flows in Anthropological Knowledge” (Buchowski and Dominguez 2012). The three articles in this theme section consider the place of anthropology in the university system, the building of a world anthropology, and the methodological challenges of the new conditions in which we work. All three critically address the interface and relationship between areas of changing power/knowledge and their relevance to the future of anthropology: both its place in the world and its contribution to the world.
.) ( 2016 ), World Anthropologies in Practice: Situated Perspectives, Global Knowledge ( London : Bloomsbury ). Kringelbach , H. N. and J. Skinner (eds.) ( 2014 ), Dancing Cultures: Globalization, Tourism, and Identity in the Anthropology of Dance
On the Usefulness of Boundary Re-work
anthropology with some of its boundaries and edges, and also as part of world anthropologies. This idea is, for instance, conferred by Čarna Brković in her contribution to this issue, foregrounding that anthropology is itself a multiple space where different