World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power

World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power

World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power

World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power

Synopsis

Can a planetary anthropology cope with both the "provincial cosmopolitanism" of alternative anthropologies and the "metropolitan provincialism" of hegemonic schools? How might the resulting "world anthropologies" challenge the current panorama in which certain allegedly national anthropological traditions have more paradigmatic weight--and hence more power--than others? Critically examining the international dissemination of anthropology within and across national power fields, contributorsaddress these questions and many others.

Excerpt

This book is the outcome of an International Symposium of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, held in Pordenone, Italy, 7–13 March 2003. It reflects a process of several years involving the symposium organizers and other colleagues. Between 1992 and 1995, one of us, Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, was a member of the Advisory Council of the Wenner-Gren Foundation. This service left him with the recognition that a broader knowledge of what had been produced outside North Atlantic anthropologies was greatly needed. His intention met with enthusiastic support from Sydel Silverman, president of the foundation at the time, and Richard Fox, then editor of Current Anthropology. To address this issue, he formulated a first proposal for a symposium on the international dimensions of anthropology, to be held in 1996.

The project, however, was to crystallize only several years later. In 2000, at the ninety-ninth annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in San Francisco, Arturo Escobar described to Ribeiro the idea of a “world anthropologies network” he was then beginning to develop with Marisol de la Cadena and Eduardo Restrepo at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. This conception closely matched Ribeiro's previous project. The two of us had been engaged in other collaborative endeavors and decided to propose a symposium to Richard Fox, who by then had become president of Wenner-Gren.

Fox immediately supported the idea and encouraged us to go ahead with the symposium. We are grateful for his support of a project aimed at affecting our discipline on a global level. Without his encouragement and critical participation, we would not have accomplished our goals. We want to thank the Wenner-Gren Foundation for its generous support, and especially Laurie Obbink, without whose help and kind and effective presence everything would have been much harder. We also want to thank Verena Stolcke for her thoughtful and constructive role as . . .

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