Grant TypeConference Grant
Institutional AffiliationManchester, U. of
Grant numberGr. CONF-748
Approve DateMarch 2, 2017
Project TitleKyriakides, Dr. Theodoros, U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid workshop on 'Insincerity, Parody, and the Anthropology of Humbuggery,' 2017, Umbria, Italy, in collaboration with Dr. Giovanni Da Col
Preliminary abstract: There is possibly no more timely inquiry today than the one on insincerity and humbuggery of social life, where anthropology remains somewhat absent. Semiotic manifestations of the larger notion of fake, such as humbuggery and insincerity or ‘bullshit’ cover a wide and timely terrain. As Harry Frankfurt eloquently puts it, humbuggery and ‘bullshit’ are not just the inverse of truth or the obverse of authenticity and sincerity. Rather, they challenge dominant understandings of sociality founded on order, hence bringing back a confrontation with a ground of radical uncertainty, which begins in our semiotic and linguistic encounters, exchanges and disputes with other social agents. Everyday life seems to dwell in totalizing and unambiguous commitment to sincerity and authenticity. Where trust and truth has been deemed the glue of human relationships and motor of cooperative interactions, this workshop, focused on insincerity and humbuggery, aims to also question how cultures where deception and mistrust flourish seem to produce effective albeit opaque forms of sociality through which contradictions reproduce epidemiologically. The current debate in the outcome of the latest presidential campaign bespeak to the need of taking humbuggery and ‘bullshit’ seriously, and investigate their cognitive and social roots and dynamics.