Hannah Renee McElgunn

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Queens U., Ontario

Grant number

Gr. CONF-913

Approve Date

March 8, 2023

Project Title

McElgunn, Hannah (Queens U., Ontario) "Anthropology Without Knowledge"

“Anthropology Without Knowledge” is a 3-day workshop, to be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in Fall 2023. The workshop will bring together anthropologists and researchers in adjacent fields interested to discuss the blindspots, pitfalls, and moral-political entailments of anthropology’s overriding preoccupation with ‘knowledge.’ Anthropologists conventionally presume that knowledge is a good, they aspire to produce it even as they criticize its dominant formations, and they relentlessly project the concept of knowledge into the various forms of life they describe. But what if these conventions were suspended and the seductions of ‘knowledge’ were held at bay? Might ‘knowledge’ shrink rather than enlarge anthropological thought and imagination? What can anthropology do, if it does without knowledge? This workshop deliberately convenes anthropologists from subfields that rarely interact’anthropologists of high-modern technoscience, of religion, of environment and language’as well as fellow travelers from philosophy and literary studies. Each of these fields has developed robust perspectives on knowledge and its limits, but their insights have still to cross pollinate. They have, we propose, significant things to learn from one another. Expected outcomes include a public-facing syllabus entitled Anthropology Without Knowledge, and a special issue that continues our conversation.