Engaging Anthropological Practice in and beyond the Academy

Anthropological Society of Western Australia
Call for papers
Ancestors and Contemporaries:
Engaging Anthropological Practice in and beyond
the Academy
Silverman in the Foreword to Cherneff and Hochwald’s (2006) edited volume
Visionary Observers: Anthropological Inquiry and Education suggests that “Capturing
the history of anthropology is a precarious task” as currently institutional memories
are short, there is a primacy of focus on current sources, with publications largely
forgotten within a few years, personal papers are routinely discarded and the
disciplines’ oral history are typically untapped. The results, she suggests is a loss of
community in anthropology and of a sense of cumulativeness in research, which
results in “illusions of “new” discoveries and novel predicaments”. A situation that
Darnell (2001) refers to as the “rhetoric of discontinuity” and “unreflexive
presentism” which characterises contemporary anthropology. Silverman also notes
that the history of anthropology in practice has been treated with benign neglect.
Pels and Salemink (1999) argue that a focus on the practice of anthropology in all of
its dimensions rather that merely in the Academy allows for a thorough exploration
of intellectual genealogies and multiple histories. It is a focus on anthropology as a
“community of practitioners” Darnell (2001) proposes also permits an investigation
of “invisible genealogies”.
This symposium aims to explore and engage with the practice of anthropology in
and beyond the Academy and reflexively explore the visible and invisible
genealogies which link contemporary practice with our luminary and not so
luminary ancestors and in doing so explore the multiple histories of the discipline.
Date: October 1, 2010
Venue: University of Western Australia
Daniel Leo: 043 77 99 053; email: [email protected]
Michael Pinches: (08) 64882850; email: [email protected]
Eddie McDonald: 0419957140; email: [email protected]