Tagungen der SEG

Donnerstag 18. Mai 2017

Call for Papers: SEG Jahrestagung, Neuchâtel, 9.-11.11.2017

The Scientific Commission of the Swiss Anthropological Association (SSE-SEG-SAA) convenes once a year a major conference around thematic panels. This year, the annual meeting of the SSE-SEG-SAA will address the topic of “norms and alternatives”.

Norms and Alternatives
Anthropological approaches to practices
and narratives of change

SEG Jahrestagung
Colloque Annuel de la SSE
Annual Meeting of the SAA

Neuchâtel, 9-11.11.2017

Call for Papers

The Scientific Commission of the Swiss Anthropological Association (SSE-SEG-SAA) convenes once a year a major conference around thematic panels. This year, the annual meeting of the SSE-SEG-SAA will address the topic of “norms and alternatives”.

While the end of the 20th century has often been described as the end of history with the triumph of the Western democracies model, the last two decades have been characterized by renewed narratives of change, which turn around a sense that our global system of production and consumption has reached its limits. Within the civil society, and amongst certain key economic and political players worldwide, an increasing number of actors are promoting “alternatives” either to bring about, in the name of sustainability or social justice, smooth institutional change within existing paradigms (e.g. fair trade certification), to contest in a more radical way a society based on mass consumption and productivism (e.g. degrowth movements, alter-globalization, etc.), or to get already prepared to what is described as imminent and unavoidable collapse (as with “resilient” strategies for coping with climate change). These so-called alternatives are as open-ended as are the debates about the exact nature of change, its goals, and the ways to implement it. Although they are not new and often rearticulate in new ways long-lasting practices, they are enjoying a growing celebrity with a large coverage in the media. Accusations of naïve utopianism are directed to the most radical propositions. At the same time, more consensual initiatives are criticized for their proximity with dominant models, often characterized as neoliberal, postcolonial or simply nefarious.

The conference aims to encourage critical approaches to the concept of alternative and its
materializations in concrete human projects. This idea of “alternatives” rests on the existence of supposedly dominant norms , and generally defines itself in opposition to them as if there were two separate "worlds". It produces a range of binaries that shape our understanding of reality: power -vs- oppression; conventional -vs- alternative; sustainable -vs- unsustainable, market economy -vs- social economy, etc. Anthropological perspectives challenge such simplifications: beyond normative categorizations, they look at the concrete and lived experience of humans in specific social contexts and highlight the always processual, plural and contested nature of norms and categories that regulate their activities. They invite us to understand alternatives less in their opposition and more in their relation and interaction with the so-called dominant norms, thus looking at the diverse ways in which they engage with the dominant social order. While highlighting the messiness and diversity of practices they may uncover, anthropological approaches can also help gain a better understanding of how such "alternatives" may still bring about social change, sometimes in subtle ways by diversifying existing institutions, or on the contrary, how they may unexpectedly reinforce the wider social order. Furthermore, the problem of justice and the critique of inequality, prejudice and violence are central to the discipline’s trajectory (be it from a human right based or a power oriented perspective), suggesting both the complexity and ambiguity of these processes and the difficulty we may have evaluating their social value. Related to the conference theme then is the question: what role can and should anthropologists play in the construction and de-construction of “dominant” norms and their “alternatives”?

Panel 1
Anthropology of Education:
Educational Norms and Alternatives in Diversified Societies

Ursina Jaeger, Zurich University of Teacher Education, University of Zurich
Kathrin Oester, Bern University of Teacher Education

Contact: ursina.jaeger@phzh.ch, kathrin.oester@phbern.ch

In highly diversified societies, schools are considered to play a decisive role in creating social cohesion. In doing so, they find themselves caught in a tension between different political agendas. On the one hand, there is an attempt to homogenize diverse members of society according to the norms and values of an imagined national ‘Leitkultur’. On the other hand, a model of Western democracy is endorsed in which the recognition of diversity through inclusive practices plays a major role.

The panel seeks to analyze these contradicting political agendas and their implications for educational policies and institutions in diversified societies. It aims at looking into processes of negotiation and juxtaposition of different, sometimes conflicting, norms shaping national curricula, guiding pedagogic practices and affecting the everyday lives of learners. In such processes of negotiation, new narrations of norms and pedagogical alternatives emerge.

Educational anthropology draws attention to the power structures and hierarchical relations in which such negotiations take place and itscrutinizes daily routines and practices within the field of education. Thereby it attempts to explore the children’s point of view: in addition to an adult-centred perspective, cultural change and social justice, and norms and alternatives are thus also seen through the lens of children and youth. Such an approach ‘from below’ focuses on a society’s future and a culture in the making, instead of explaining social change mostly through the past.
The panel invites contributions addressing
• the tension between different educational agendas aiming at reproducing national norms and values versus celebrating diversity,
• the messiness of everyday interactions in formal and informal educational settings, negotiating and juxtaposing conflicting norms by diverse actors,
• problems of educational justice, of inequality, prejudice and violence against learners,
• new narrations of social justice through the lens of children and youth,
• the role educational anthropology should play in the construction and de-construction of educational norms, institutional practices and their alternatives.

The panel will be held in English.
Interested authors can send their abstract (2000 signs) via digital form until 30th of June 2017.

Panel 2
Christianity, development and sustainability in the global South

Heinzpeter Znoj, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern
Christian Gerlach, Historisches Institut, Universität Bern

Contact :

One of the roots of today’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, 2015-2030) goes back to Christian missionary circles’ concept of holistic development in the 1960s/70s. This panel explores these interconnections of Christianity, development, and sustainability in the global South.
Whereas, historically speaking, ideas of sustainability have evolved only recently, the nexus of Christianity and development is long-standing and can be traced back to pre-development times, when various Christian missionary organisations started their global activities as part of the colonial “mission civilisatrice”. With their diverse engagement in ecclesiastic and secular development (e.g. building up educational, health, transportation, and agricultural infrastructure) Christian organisations and institutions (churches, missionary organisations and FBOs) have reshaped landscapes in the global South and largely contributed to coin ideas of “modernity,” “modernisation,” “growth,” or “well-being” in the colonial and post-colonial eras. While they have been supportive of the general development goals of post-colonial states, they nevertheless were sceptical of the high-modernist, top-down development schemes that many states pursued to achieve them. In contrast to the latter, their community-based scope and community-building goals prioritized “holistic,” participatory development which since the 1960s was in line with the development-formula of the World Council of Churches (WCC). In accordance with this “alternative formula”, development work of Christian organisations should be guided by the trilogy of economic progress, social justice, and self-reliance. With their approach to development, the WCC anticipated principles of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” before they entered the mainstream development discourses in the 1980s.
In this panel, we would like to follow the poetics and politics of sustainability in Christian development work. How are ideas of sustainability developed, transmitted, translated, appropriated, put into practice, interpreted, reshaped, and adapted by the various actors involved? We are interested in different trajectories of engagement with sustainable development ideas and practices of various Christian organisations in different regions of the world. Therefore, we welcome contributions from various disciplines such as history, social anthropology and development studies that investigate the dynamics of Christianity, development, change and sustainability in their wider social, political, economic and environmental context.

Contributions in English, discussion also in German.
Interested authors can send their abstract (2000 signs) via digital form until 30th of June 2017.

Panel 3
Vivre les normes de l'État

Frédérique Leresche. Jean-Pierre Tabin, LIVES/HES-SO, Lausanne

Contact : frederique.leresche@eesp.ch

Dans ce panel, nous nous intéressons à la façon dont les individus vivent au quotidien les normes de l’État. Plus précisément, nous cherchons à appréhender la façon dont les individus réagissent en pratique à des normes dont le caractère hégémonique a été montré par divers auteurs (Gramsci, Foucault, Bourdieu entre autres). C’est le « savoir des gens », comme le disait Michel Foucault, qui nous intéresse, parce qu’il est le lieu non seulement de la mise en œuvre des normes, mais encore de leur critique, porteuse de potentielles alternatives.
Notre but dans ce panel est donc de travailler différents espaces sociaux dans lesquels normes étatiques et pratiques se rencontrent. Les trois interventions déjà prévues reposent sur des données empiriques concernant les pratiques de spécialistes de l’asile, celles d’officiers d’état civil dans le cadre de mariages binationaux et enfin celles de personnes qui renoncent ou refusent des prestations de l’état social. Nous attendons des propositions concernant d’autres espaces sociaux, d’autres rencontres entre normes et pratiques, et aimerions discuter des méthodes anthropologiques pour les appréhender.
Deux axes seront principalement investis.
D’une part, nous discuterons la manière dont se pratiquent les normes de l’État, et avec quelles raisons sociales et morales. Ces pratiques sont conformes, subversives ou même les deux à la fois. C’est cette articulation plus ou moins contradictoire d’un ordre normatif et de raisons morales et sociales qui explique « les multiples façons dont on habite les normes » (Mahmood, 2009, p. 276). Mais ces pratiques procèdent également d’une « reformulation immanente au pouvoir, et non [d’]une relation d’opposition externe au pouvoir » (Butler, 2009, p. 30). Comment penser les pratiques des acteurs en dehors de la binarité normes et alternatives, en les insérant dans un savoir local ?
D’autre part, nous nous intéresserons à la façon dont les chercheurs et chercheuses se saisissent de ces questions, du point de vue théorique comme du point de vue méthodologique. Nous pensons en effet qu’étudier l’État en tant que producteur de normes peut être rendu difficile justement parce que nos schémas de pensée sont aussi le produit de l’État, et que nous sommes « pénétrés en quelque sorte par cela même que nous devons étudier » (Bourdieu, 2012, p. 13). Comment faire réapparaître les « savoirs disqualifiés » ou « assujettis » (Foucault, 2001, p. 10-11) ? Que produisent-ils comme « nouvelles formes d’intelligibilité du monde » (Fassin, 2009, p. 1265) ?

Merci de nous envoyer vos propositions en français ou en anglais sous forme d’un résumé d’un maximum de 2000 signes. Elles indiqueront :
- Les noms, prénoms, affiliation(s), statuts et coordonnées des auteur.e.s
- le ou les terrains d’enquête
- la ou les méthodes de collecte des données
- la ou les questions de l’appel auxquelles la communication entend répondre
Merci d’envoyer vos propositions d’ici au 30 juin, directement via le formulaire du site internet de la SEG-SSE.

Bourdieu, P. (2012). Sur l'État. Cours au Collège de France (1989-1992). Paris: Seuil.
Butler, J. (2009). Ces corps qui comptent. De la matérialité et des limites discursives du sexe. Paris: Amsterdam.
Fassin, D. (2009). Les économies morales revisitées. Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 64(6), 1237-1266.
Foucault, M. (2001). Il faut défendre la société. Cours au Collège de France (1975-1976). Paris: Le Foucault Électronique.
Mahmood, S. (2009). Politique de la piété. Le féminisme à l'épreuve du renouveau islamique. Paris: La Découverte.

Panel 4
Norms, Alternatives and Narratives of Change in Anthropology

Sandra Bärnreuther, Johannes Quack University of Zürich

Contact: sandra.baernreuther@uzh.ch

Inspired by Tobias Rees’ forthcoming book “After Ethnos” (2017), this panel asks the question “what is anthropology today”. Looking back to the 20th century, the discipline has undergone profound changes. Alternatives to conventions of the day have emerged continuously, sometimes designated (if not inflated) as turns. Not only have theoretical frameworks come and gone; alternative conceptual approaches, analytical tools, and sites of fieldwork have transformed the questions asked and the answers given. Rather than reflecting on anthropology’s tumultuous past, this panel will focus on the state of its present forms and its possible futures.

Departing from “After Ethnos”, we examine the discipline in its current moment. What could be described as normative ways of doing anthropology today? Which inherited concepts seem anachronistic in light of the contemporary? What alternative forms have emerged over the last decades? And how do we imagine anthropology’s future?

We are particularly interested in discussing the meaning of “ethnos”. What role does the concept play in contemporary anthropological research? Does it constitute an anachronism, as Rees would argue, or is it still a useful category?

We invite scholars to submit abstracts (max. 2000 signs, in English or German, by 30 June 2017 via digital form) that reflect on the meanings of “ethnos” in their work. We also welcome contributions about other current disciplinary developments as well as empirically based reflections on alternative ways of doing anthropology.

Panel 5
The Premises and Promises of Alternative Norms in the Global Economy

Johanna Mugler, Luisa Piart, Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern

Contact : luisa.piart@anthro.unibe.ch

Alternative propositions challenging existing patterns of exclusion and inequality in the global economy often include great hopes, expectations and promises that immoral, unequal and unjust situations need to, can and/or will change. While norms, rules and institutional changes sometimes occur radically, various studies have shown that more often change in the economic field happens only subtly and incrementally. Too much is on the table, too much is to lose.

In this panel, we explore the relation between alternative economic, regulatory and moral norms and the existing dominant norms in various private, national and international initiatives to make the global economy fairer and more equal (e.g. global movements for ethical consumption, environmental protection, alternative food networks, tax justice, global anti-sweatshop, corporate codes of conducts and social responsibility).

In order to understand the interplay of normative and institutional change in the regulation of the global economy, we are particularly interested in contributions that address with their empirical work one of the following questions:

  1. What are the premises and genealogies of “alternative” moral, economic and regulatory norms? How, when and by whom do specific ideas and initiatives become recognized as legitimate “alternatives” to hegemonic norms?
  2. What are the actual institutional settings where actors with alternative and prevailing norms confront each other, negotiate, or argue? How do arguments need to be framed in order to be heard by the other side? What needs to happen that alternative norms, often accused of being naïve, utopian, out of touch with reality can be implemented, leveraged, and eventually maintained in the long-run?
  3. Who are the actors who propose alternative norms and who the ones who defend the dominant ones? How does their everyday work life look like? What are the material, political and/or social conditions of their work? How do they perceive their own work and working environment in relation to others?
  4. What happens to the big promises of empowerment, hope and expectations and what are their intended and unintended outcomes in practice? How do involved actors (powerful and less powerful ones) reflect on this process where dreams come true or maybe fail, compromises have to be found, bigger ideas need to be deferred, postponed, cut up into smaller projects?
  5. What are the impediments and constraints to norms and institutional changes and the competing forces that sustain such resistance?

Interested authors can submit abstracts (English, 2000 signs) via digital form until 30 June 2017.

Panel 6

Funds, Slogans, and Struggles: Defining a Global Gender Regime

Anna Elisabeth Kuijpers, University of Zurich
K. Zeynep Sarıaslan, University of Zurich and University of Bern

Contact : zeynep.sariaslan@uzh.ch; annaelisabeth.kuijpers@uzh.ch

Established from within development ideas and practices, the global gender regime aims at regulating well being for gendered bodies through institutions and people that operate at local, national and transnational levels (Walby, 2004). Actors involved like experts, policy makers, philanthropists, institutions and organizations maintain the regime by putting norms, defining needs and developing arguments for legitimation of plans, projects, and practices. The regime operates through international legal instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which shape and influence the content of development projects on both the local level, like grassroots women organizations working on empowerment, or small-scale corporate social responsibility projects, to global players like UNICEF or OXFAM. In sum: everyone involved in development projects, big or small, local or global, ‘struggles’ to find a way to implement gender equality in its policies.
Researchers show that while the goal of gender equality is high on the agenda of globalized institutions like UN, EU, and other policy makers, it appears to remain in slogans like ‘educating girls will lead to economic development’ or ‘empowering women is smart economics’. Although gender equality is known to be an essential part of human and sustainable development projects, taken-for-granted generalizations about gender in development discourse do not necessarily better the life conditions for women (and men). Rather, gender is used strategically to please donors and development bureaucrats, and become just another ‘buzzword’ of development lingo (Cornwall et. al., 2008).
In light of these ideas, this panel focuses on the interplay between global gender norms that get their dominance from various power relations and local norms that force the emergence of alternatives in contexts of gender-balanced development. Despite the fact that funding institutions release globally valid arguments on who needs what, “processes of globalization do not only work themselves out in local contexts, in which people must cope with conditions out of their control. Global processes are simultaneously shaped, limited, and redefined by these very sites and actors, even if in small ways” (Freeman 2006). On the other hand, ‘best practices’ and ‘success stories’ cited in policy documents provide only one-dimensional pictures of actors holding various subject positions. We can therefor state with certainty that a global gender (equality) regime has been established, however what is less transparent is how these regimes work, interact with cultural and religious norms and travel on the ground to different localities (Kardam 2004).
This panel aims to push intersectional analysis forward in political economy of development, aid, and humanitarianism. On the one hand we target norms set by donors supporting states and/or non-governmental actors, by critically reflecting upon constructed categories of ‘global’ and ‘local’. On the other hand we look at how alternative norms can be produced in ‘glocalised’ contexts by actors with intersectional belongings.
We invite papers in English that tackle theoretical debates on the matter, as well as studies based on empirical data are strongly welcomed. We are interested in question such as (but not limited to):

  • What does it mean to have ‘gender equality’ as a global norm?
  • How to approach intersections of local and global perspectives?
  • How are global ideas of gender perceived and negotiated in ordinary lives?
  • How do local meanings interplay with globalized gender norms?
  • What happens when grassroots struggles entangle with development discoursers?
  • How to go beyond de-politization in anthropological analysis of gender-balanced development?
  • How to grasp diversity in global norms and how can anthropology contribute to the conceptualization of a ‘gender regime’?
  • When does local mean patriarchal, and why?
  • How to use theoretical and methodological tools of ethnography to grasp alternative understandings of gender? 

Interested authors can submit a 2000 sign abstract (with paper title) via digital form by 30 June 2017.

Panel 7
Tinkering with sociotechnical worlds: “hacking” as locales, practices and narratives of

David Bozzini, Université de Fribourg
Eric Zufferey, Universities of Fribourg and Lille

Contact: david.bozzini@unifr.ch ; eric.zufferey@unifr.ch

“Hacking” is a vast array of practices that has at its core an attitude of free-form exploration for generating a variety of alternatives related to technical devices, digital infrastructures, and forms of social organization. While hackers tinker with hardware and write software to circumvent existing technical limitations or vulnerabilities, they also reinvent and sometimes transgress established institutional norms, re-assemble collectives and reinvent their practices and modes of organization.
Hacking collectives (among them local hackerspaces connected globally) develop narratives of change and practical experiments seeking to develop alternatives to the dominant uses of technology. However, such collectives host different social groups with potentially conflicting interests, ideologies and projects (Lallement, 2015): professionals (software developers, IT security specialists, etc), hobbyists and activists coming from different social and historical backgrounds (Auray, 2001).
Hackers are increasingly participating in public debates in local as well as global arenas, sometimes even assuming “prominent geopolitical roles in sculpting our immediate history” (Coleman 2017), engaging their technical expertise and sensibilities into various political projects, for example, in cases such as Wikileaks, Anonymous, and the global hackerspace network. In this sense, hacking has become a politicized technical competence that is engaged in politically oriented initiatives both at the local community level and at national, and sometimes, global levels.
By examining the nexus between digital technologies and politics in the present, this panel proposes a focused debate on hacking’s potential and limitations for changing established forms of labor, organization, infrastructure, education and political practices related to information security, community-based spaces for collaborative work and political movements. With this framework, the panel aims to address a wide range of questions related to the politicization of hacking:

In the first place, we want to explore how these heterogeneous groups produce common projects, ideologies and values. How and to what extent openness, transparency, horizontality and collaboration (partly) overcome socioeconomic stratification as well as different political sensibilities and cultural values? How hacker collectives succeed to create online and offline semi-autonomous spaces of communication and organization? How these collectives and these spaces conceive and experiment (new) forms of organization and work? Are these experiments disputing and challenging norms in regard to security, education and work?
Secondly, we ask to what extent narratives of technological change and development of digital alternatives assemble with (other) counter-hegemonic political frames and actions? How and in which occasions do hacking collectives intersect with social movements and other political constituencies, public institutions, companies, and other professionals (such as journalists for instance)? How norms cultivated through technical initiatives (free and open source software/hardware development as an example) are translated into larger sociopolitical projects in which computer experts take part?

Interested authors can send their abstract (in English and French, 2000 signs) via digital form until 30 June 2017.

Auray, Nicolas. 2001. « La place des hackers dans l'innovation informatique : une comparaison des cas hollandais, français et américain », Communication pour l'ICUST URL: http://ses.telecom-paristech.fr/auray/Auray%20ICUST%202001.pdf
Coleman, Gabriella. 2017. « From Internet Farming to Weapons of the Geek. » Current Anthropology 58 (15):91-101.
Lallement, Michel 2015, L'Âge du Faire : hacking, travail, anarchie, Paris : Éditions du Seuil

Panel 8
Historiciser les "alternatives" : quelles recompositions des mobilisations et formes d'engagements citoyens porteurs d'une critique sociale et écologique ?

Marion Fresia et Claudia Dubuis, Institut d’ethnologie, Université de Neuchâtel

Contact: marion.fresia@unine.ch; claudia.dubuis@unine.ch

Villes en transition, potagers urbains, circuits courts, mouvements de consom'acteurs, décroissance ou encore éco-villages, un grand nombre de pratiques proposent aujourd'hui de promouvoir des manières de vivre, d'habiter, de produire ou de consommer "alternatives" à la société de consommation. Elles voient dans l'autonomie, le localisme, l'auto-gestion, la simplicité volontaire ou l'exemplarité de l'action individuelle les leviers de la transition vers une société plus durable, écologique et solidaire. Et elles tendent à s'inscrire dans un rapport de méfiance vis-à-vis des formes d'actions collectives professionnalisées et institutionnalisées telle que celles des grandes associations de défense de l'environnement ou des partis politiques traditionnels. Portées par une grande diversité d'acteurs, ces pratiques se constituent en réseaux nationaux et transnationaux et jouissent d'une certaine célébrité médiatique. Extrêmement hétérogènes, et inscrites à la croisée entre divers héritages et espaces sociaux (mouvements des retours à la terre des années 70 ; altermondialisme ; communautés intentionnelles ; mouvements des coopératives et des mutuelles ; etc.), elles se fédèrent de plus en plus autour d'une même catégorie d'action militante, celle de l'alternativité (les villages "alternatiba"). Elles offrent une "promesse de différence" (Le Velly, 2017) qui renouvelle les utopies contemporaines et nourrit des engagements individuels ou collectifs qui semblent touchés principalement les classes moyennes et la petite bourgeoisie (Brusadelli & al, 2016 ; Pleyers, 2011). Comment saisir la composition sociale et idéologique de ces "alternatives à géométrie variables" (Comby, 2016), la diversité de leurs positionnements vis-à-vis de l'ordre établi et des types d'engagements qu'elles supposent, tout en prenant au sérieux la portée du label alternatif dont elles se revendiquent ? Comment se positionner, en tant que chercheur, vis-à-vis de cette catégorie émique dont on sait qu'elle entretient la fiction que ces pratiques se situeraient "en dehors" de l'ordre social, alors qu'elles sont toujours dans des rapports ambivalents et relationnels à celui-ci ? Le recours à l'histoire apparaît ici comme une bonne manière de réfléchir à ces questions et d'envisager ces pratiques moins en termes de rupture avec la société de consommation, qu'en termes de continuité et de recompositions de formes d'engagements, de contestations et d'expérimentations souvent anciennes, enchâssées dans les formes plurielles de l'économie capitaliste (Bonneuil & Fressoz, 2015), voire lui étant consubstantielle (Hély & al., 2013).

Dans ce panel, nous proposons d'historiciser notre regard sur les formes contemporaines d'engagements citoyens, porteurs d'une critique sociale et écologique plus ou moins radicale. Deux axes de réflexion pourront, notamment, être abordés par les panélistes :

  1. Qui sont les acteurs qui s’engagent aujourd'hui par rapport à ceux de la génération précédente, quels sont leurs parcours et le sens qu'ils donnent à leur engagement ? Comment différencier les types d'engagements d'hier et d'aujourd'hui et les situer dans un répertoire d'actions politiques plus ou moins militants ou pragmatiques, individualisés ou collectifs ? Plusieurs chercheurs ont souligné que certaines "alternatives" tendent aujourd'hui à renforcer les logiques néolibérales en favorisant la fragmentation de l'action collective par l'accent qu'elles mettent sur les valeurs telles que l'autonomie, l'action individuelle et l'auto-gestion (Guthman, 2008 ; Pleyers 2011). Que peut-on dire de cette hypothèse lorsque l'on retrace plus précisément la trajectoire historique de certaines pratiques contestataires ?
  2. Comment certaines pratiques d'hier (telles que les potagers urbains, l'agriculture contractuelle de proximité, l'habitat collectif, etc.) sont passées de la marge à la centralité, jusqu'à jouir d'une certaine célébrité médiatique aujourd’hui ? Comment cette évolution s'est-elle accompagnée d'une requalification de sens attribué à ces pratiques, avec quels effets d'inclusion-exclusion et de disqualification d'autres pratiques similaires ? Et quel rôle la mobilisation de la catégorie d'"alternatives" a-t-elle joué dans ces recompositions ?

Merci d’envoyer vos propositions (en anglais ou en français, 2000 signes max.) d’ici au 30 juin, directement via le formulaire du site internet de la SEG-SSE.

Panel 9
Pictures in boxes: the video in ethnographic museums
CAV (Commission audiovisuelle de la SSE - Kommission für audiovisuelle Medien der SEG)

Grégoire Mayor, MEN et Institut d'ethnologie de Neuchâtel
Michaela Schäuble, Institut für Sozialanthropologie der Universität Bern

Contact: gregoire.mayor@ne.ch; michaela.schaeuble@anthro.unibe.ch

Presenting films and video installations is a widespread practice in contemporary ethnographic museums and exhibitions. The commissioning of films and videos by scientific institutions has a long history and the ideological links between museums, cinema and fairs, is quite well documented (as in Alison Griffiths Wondrous differences (2002) for instance). Contemporary recording technologies and the decreasing cost for the production and diffusion of media outputs enable researchers in the social science to realise and to present videos and films installations even in small institutions or for low-budget enterprises.

The various uses of films and moving images in museums raise challenging questions regarding the status of pictures and about their roles in museographical narratives. Included as constitutive part of or as an articulation of the argumentation, considered as providing scientific proof or as illustrations, as sensitive or poetical evocations, as ironic counterpoints or alternative discourses, the possibilities are numerous and have different epistemological consequences – either from the point of view of the producers of the images, the curators, the scenographers or the viewers. What are the theoretical implications of depicting bodies, gestures, objects, buildings, landscapes, etc. ? And what is at stake when museums display or reproduce discourses by social actors, scientific specialists or experts? Are films produced for exhibitions an appropriate way of depicting fieldwork experiences and findings? Are they means of integrating alternative voices or points of view? Or are they ways of transmitting forms of sensitive and haptic knowledge? The influences of the screening devices and displays (projections, Tv-screens, computer displays, interactive devices, etc.) on the perception of the work are also to be critically discussed.

This panel aims to examine the uses of various audio-visual techniques in exhibitions, with a focus on the heuristic, narrative, epistemological and aesthetic implications of the respective presentations. We propose to discuss different experiences and approaches by ethnographic filmmakers or curators on recent uses of films or video installations in exhibitions.

Please submit abstracts and a short biography by 30 June 2017 via digital form.
Proposals and presentations are accepted in English, French or German.

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