CFP: AAA/CASCA ‘The Post-Anthropological. Convergences Across Museums, Art, and Colonialism’

CFP for the upcoming CASCA/AAA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC (Nov 20-24).

The Post-Anthropological. Convergences Across Museums, Art, and Colonialism. 

Convenors: Margareta von Oswald (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Jonas Tinius (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

In recent years and especially across European postcolonial contexts, the renaming, reform, and even reconstruction of anthropological museums is embedded within and reinforced by a fierce debate about the legitimacy, location, and expertise for anthropological representation. This has led to what we describe as a post-anthropological moment in which anthropology becomes problematised beyond itself.

Inflected by our own research of these developments in anthropological museums, and their convergences with contemporary art and debates on colonialism in Europe, we have witnessed and been struck by the extent to which both anthropology as a discipline (including its history and institutions, such as museums and archives) and themes traditionally associated with it have become central topics of discussion beyond the discipline’s institutional confines.  We have identified three areas of debate – current transformations of anthropological museums, contemporary art, and post-colonial critique – that have arguably become the most productive and vibrant ‘post-anthropological’ fields. We take the tension implied in the ‘post’ not to represent a crisis of identity for anthropology, but a productive moment that may open up new ways of negotiating anthropological representation beyond itself. This debate is thus not just one within anthropology, but also and perhaps more significantly, about the elsewhere and otherwise of anthropology.

The discussion on the post-anthropological is situated in current debates in museum studies, anthropology, and curatorial studies as well as linking discussions on colonial legacies with those on contemporary art. We seek contributions which respond to and challenge the notion of the ‘post-anthropological’ and the fields and debates associated with it: current transformations of anthropological museums, contemporary art, and post-colonial critique. We are particularly interested in case studies and observations, historic and contemporary, from outside of Europe.

Please send your abstract of 250 words (max) to the convenors Margareta von Oswald (margareta.von.oswald@hu-berlin.de) and Jonas Tinius (jonas.tinius@hu-berlin.de) by 29 March 2019.

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