Anthropology of global issues
International symposium organised by WCAA-ASA and IAA
1st-3rd April 2012, University of Delhi, India
Anthropologists' continued engagement with micro-macro interface, in its efforts to emerge as a generalizing science of human experiences, has instilled the required skills among its practitioners to deal with emerging questions that contemporary society encounter in globalizing era. Recent advances in information technology creating a kind of viable world communication network has led to the creation of ' world community of anthropologists' engaged in a critical reflections and creative sharing on issues that convey greater meaning in cross cultural perspectives. Though envisioning a strong and vibrant ' global anthropology ' might not appear to be free from hegemonic influences/control over global south and therefore becomes problematic, negotiations are already underway towards a creative synthesis of insights from regional and national anthropologies for a potential world platform which is not far from reality. This becomes more significant in term of changing power equations globally where the North-South divide is getting increasingly obliterated.
Globalization offers fresh challenges for humanity across race, ethnicity, cultures, regions, and nations. New forces of economy, technology, polity and market have brought human destiny to a crossroad. Climate change, food insecurity, water scarcities, natural disasters, war, ethnic strife and violence, terrorism, tourism, migration and population displacement are phenomena of serious concern that need to be addressed from perspectives that offer comparative and critical understanding of views from within and the indigenous strategies to cope up within broader contexts. Conventional concepts of anthropology like culture, society, community and boundaries stand deconstructed and fresh theoretical debates need to be negotiated across academic tables, to look for a future anthropology of new discourses.
WCAA with its wide membership from different corners of the world has made the first step in this regard. Needless to mention that the collective voice of the world council has further strengthened the regional or lesser known concerns thereby creating a space for the marginal and often unheard academic and political initiatives for enriching and empowering the discipline. The Symposium proposes to engage in a cross-cultural debate on emergent global Issues informed through local ethnographies, informed by all branches of anthropology but also going beyond the disciplinary boundaries to reach out to the insights that civil society engagements with policy and practice offer in different national traditions..