Masud, Dr. Muhammad, Islamabad, Pakistan - To aid workshop on 'New Anthropological Studies of the Tablighi Jamaat Transnational Islamic Revivalist Movement: From National to Global,' 2012, Oxford U., UK, in collaboration with Dr. Scott Flower
'New Anthropological Studies of the Tablighi Jamaat Transnational Islamic Revivalist Movement: From National to Global'
October 14-18, 2012, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Organizers: Dr. Muhammad Masud (Int'l Islamic U.) and Dr. Scott Flower (U. New South Wales)
Tablighi Jamaat is a movement for the renewal of Islam founded in the 1930s under very specific local conditions in Mewat, India. Since its founding it has transformed from a local to regional and finally a global movement in over one hundred sixty countries. The movement's missionary activities usually involve small groups (six to ten) of self-funded and organized individuals, however the Tablighi's annual international meeting known as 'Ijtema' held in Pakistan and Bangladesh attracts between 2-3.5 million Muslims. In addition to the Tablighi Jamaat being the Muslim world's largest social movement its international Ijtema is also the second largest pilgrimage in the Muslim world behind the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), yet the movement and its transformation remains understudied. The workshop brought together eighteen scholars from around the world to Oxford University's Centre for Islamic Studies to present and discuss their research, with contributors' papers facilitating much comparative analysis and wide ranging discussion. The workshop critically examined continuity and change within the Jamaat membership and bureaucracy over the last decade and local-global and global-local causes of change. The workshop also facilitated important intergenerational knowledge exchange between senior scholars of the Tablighi Jamaat who have recently retired or are close to retiring and younger emerging scholars. An edited book will result from the workshop.
Castaneda, Dr. Quetzil E., U. Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico - To aid workshop on public meanings of the archaeological past: sociological archaeology and archaeological ethnography, 2005, Piste, in collaboration with Dr. Christopher N. Matthews
'The Public Meanings of the Archaeological Past: Sociological Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography,' June 1-5, 2005, Piste, Yucatan, Mexico -- Organizers: Quetzil E. Castañeda (Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan) and Christopher N. Matthews. The workshop was hosted by the Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology at the OSEA Research Facility in Piste, Yucatan, Mexico. Twelve participants prepared papers and debated ideas on the ethnographic position within archaeological research. Ethnography was unanimously described as an underutilized tool for critically evaluating the public significance of archaeology. Archaeologists explored how various forms of ethnography challenged the objective(s) of archaeological research. New approaches for archaeology were outlined that made explicit the culturally productive role of archaeology for defining modern identities, and the subsequent responsibilities of archaeologists to be ethnographically informed. This work argued for more reflexive, engaged, and politically sophisticated archaeologies. Ethnographers presented several studies defining archaeological subjectivity. These papers showed that what archaeologists themselves believe they are doing in the realm of culture and politics is key to advancing archaeology's public significance. Studies ranged from an overview of archaeology's research positioning and the use of film in archaeology to critical observations of public archaeology programs.
Muller, Dr. Birgit, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France - To aid workshop on 'The Anthropology of International Institutions: Mechanisms of Governance,' 2010, EHESS, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Wright
'The Anthropology of International Institutions: Mechanisms of Global Governance'
June 10-12, 2010, Paris, France
Organizers: Birgit Muller (EHESS) and Susan Wright (University of Aarhus)
Sixteen anthropologists met at the workshop to clarify conceptual challenges and commonalities international institutions represent, where they explored such diverse topics as the Bangalore cityscape, the Cyprus peace process, and the World Heritage Convention to see how international institutions produce an understanding of the world. These institutions contribute to global knowledge/power regimes by linking up with a much larger and multiscalar
landscape of 'transnational policy networks.' While referring to 'universal values,' their practices of negotiation and pragmatic compromise constantly transform the norms and the institutional frames themselves. At the local and national level, institutions -- such as the FAO in Nicaragua and Ecuador, the World Bank in India and the UNHCR in Uganda --
involve and shape the collective and individual subjects with whom they interact. Powerful international institutions, such as the WTO and the World Bank, render political conflicts technical. International bureaucrats deploy expert knowledge in a low-key, almost invisible fashion in order to neutralize conflict. Participants analysed the resulting ambiguities and
contradictions in the interactions between civil society networks, state bureaucrats, and international institutions, as well as their impact on political agendas. The techniques of guidelines creation, audit and self-monitoring in the United Nations Environmental Program, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the UNHCR, and the UN Committee against Torture show how moral utopian goals and power dynamics are in constant tension with managerial techniques of governance and produce this particular field of interactions, ideas, and practices that fascinates anthropologists in international institutions.
Kantner, Dr. John Wood, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM - To aid workshop on 'Images Without Borders,' 2008, Santa Fe (SAR), in collaboration with Dr. Mary M. Steedly
'Images without Borders'
May 4-8, 2008, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Organizers: Dr. John W. Kantner (School for Advanced Research) in collaboration with Dr. Mary M. Steedly (Harvard University)
The proliferation and rapid circulation of visual images around the globe has transformed our understanding and experience of public space. How might we tell the life histories of those images and their audiences? What is the relationship between technologies of image production and dissemination, and what kinds of publics crystallize around those technologies? Nine anthropologists and scholars from related fields grappled with those questions during a week-long seminar at the School for Advanced Research. Drawing on research conducted in a variety of cultural settings, participants examined the relationship between images and publics in the fluid and deeply saturated mediascapes of contemporary global society. Discussion ranged from the spread of Christian imagery and popular supernaturalism in Indonesia, to the changing representation of 'the sheik' in twentieth-century Anglo-American culture. Photographic images in nineteenth-century China and post-apartheid South Africa were examined, as well as the global impact of a Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed. Participants analyzed the social architecture of circulation and explored the responses to this explosion of imagery. The insights gained from this seminar have important implications for understanding not only the media and its use of visual images, but also the potentially transformative impact of that imagery.
Cunha, Manuela Ivone, U. do Minho, Braga, Portugal - To aid conference on 'Ethnografeast III: Ethnography and the Public Sphere,' 2007, ISCTE, Lisbon, in collaboration with Dr. Maria Antonia Lima
'Ethnografeast III: Ethnography and the Public Sphere'
June 20-23, 2007, Instituto Superior de Ciencias do Trabalho e da Empresa, Lisbon, Portugal
Organizers: Dr. Manuela Ivone Cunha (Universidade do Minho) and Dr. Maria Antonia Lima (ISCTE)
'Ethnografeast III' brought together a group of field-based anthropologists and sociologists to address the relationship between ethnography and the public sphere. Questions raised by this relationship go beyond classical discussions about 'applied' or other research whose 'usefulness' is understood strictly in instrumental terms. They involve not only research that engages policy-making and makers, but, more widely, research that tackles salient social issues or politically significant phenomena. The relevance of ethnographic research for civic concerns or the public framing of research questions and findings, the agendas, the audiences, and the circulation of ethnographic products, the negotiation of ethnographic expertise, the question of the continuities and discontinuities between ethnographic knowledge and civic choices or political decisions, are issues that call for a broad reflection on the effects of public debates on ethnography and vice-versa.
Pink, Dr. Sarah, Loughborough U., Loughborough, UK - To aid conference of the visual anthropology and teaching anthropology networks of EASA on working images, 2001, Museum of Ethnology, Lisbon, in collaboration with Dr. Ana Afonso
Kreinath, Dr. Jens Michael, Wichita State U., Wichita, KS - To aid workshop on 'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression,' 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia, in collaboration with Refika Sarionder Kreinath
'Ritual and Reflection: Tropes in Transformation and Transgression'
August 28-29, 2008, Lubljana, Slovenia
Organizers: Jens Kreinath (Wichita State University) and Fefika Sariönder (University of Bielefeld)
The workshop was held during the 2008 meetings of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its attempt was to overcome the dichotomy of thought and action ubiquitous to ritual theory. The ambition was to establish an interdisciplinary forum that is able to reconfigure these commonly assumed parameters of ritual theory and to elaborate on how theoretic discourse and ritual practice can be conceptually interrelated with one another. The objective was to establish more refined theoretical and meta-theoretical parameters that would enable one to transgress the prevailing theoretical assumptions and help to account for the transformative dynamics of ritual reflexivity and to conceptualize these dynamics as part of the theoretical discourse and ritual practice. Taking these thematic configurations as a point of departure, two epistemological issues were of importance: 1) whether and how rituals can be conceptualized as reflecting, or reflecting upon, the dynamics of social relations; and 2) whether and how theoretical accounts of ritual can be facilitated to analyze more adequately the processes of ritual reflexivity.