Erica Weiss

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Tel Aviv U.

Grant number

Gr. CONF-919

Approve Date

March 8, 2023

Project Title

Weiss, Erica (Tel Aviv U.) "Beyond the Liberal Public Sphere: Experiments in Political Participation"

This workshop will ethnographically explore the ways different groups experiment in political participation outside of the liberal public sphere model. The liberal public sphere has been shown to be exclusionary, making specific cultural demands on those who would engage in it. Furthermore, liberal notions of public reason require many groups to engage in ‘translation’ before they are permitted to express themselves. But grassroots experiments in rethinking political participation beyond this model have emerged in wildly diverse locations and contexts. In this workshop we bring together anthropologists working on different topics in different parts of the globe, all of whom have witnessed the emergence of these alternative public spheres. The groups range from ‘traditional’ to ‘radical’, and across the political spectrum, but what they have in common is the way they challenge modern hegemonic political thought with their grassroots practices. The group will also consider how modern liberal political thought is embedded in anthropological theory and how we might free ourselves from its assumptions.