ASA2022: Anthropology Educates
Online, 14 March to 7 November 2022
Anthropology is, above all, a way of education. Anthropological study is potentially transformative for all involved, be they teachers or learners, researchers or participants. At its best, it is an education that opens to the wisdom, experience and knowledge of people everywhere, in a sustained, collaborative, and critical reflection upon the conditions and possibilities of collective life, both presently and into the future. Yet all too often anthropological education reproduces authorised knowledge and paradigms, shaped by institutional demands, thus perpetuating exclusion and privilege.
The purpose of this conference is to explore both the potential of Anthropology to educate, and what the limits of such education might be. This goes far beyond questions of teaching and learning, as posed within standard pedagogic protocols. We are not thinking of Anthropology as a subject to be taught, finding its place in the curriculum of higher education alongside other subjects like History, Geography or Sociology. Nor are we primarily concerned with studies in the anthropology of education which have treated institutions and practices of pedagogy principally as objects of ethnographic attention. We aim instead to focus on the work of Anthropology, whether in the classroom or in the field, as a fundamentally educational endeavour.
In order to put this aim into practice, we are adopting an entirely novel format. Following an introduction, the conference will comprise five consecutive studios, each extending over a month, with opportunities for ongoing conversation on the virtual conference platform. Our intention is not so much to provide a forum for the presentation of finished work as to open up a space for conversation, with a view to advancing the topic under discussion. By the conclusion of the conference, then, we expect to be in a very different place from where we began. This, in turn, will be reflected in the eventual conference volume, which we conceive less as a collection of papers than as a multi-stranded compilation of voices and perspectives.
All times quoted are in UK time. The conference will be conducted entirely online, for a period of eight months, from March to November 2022. Each of the five studios will be devoted to a particular theme, as follows:
Note about the timing of sessions: the timings of the sessions have been chosen to accommodate the different time zones of those involved. Please also note that contribution to themes does not require attendance at the live sessions. The conference has been designed to enable asynchronous, as well as synchronous participation. If you would like to contribute asynchronously, please submit a contribution as usual, watch the recorded studio in a time that suits you and then add your reflections and contribute to the discussions via the comments on the studio you are taking part in, on the studio platform.
- Anthropology as education
- Decolonising the academy?
- Academic-student collaborations (May 9 to June 6)
- Anthropology across disciplines (September 12 to October 10)
- Anthropology and the university (October 10 to November 7)
These studios are spaced at monthly intervals - see the online timetable. Sessions on May 9, will conclude ‘Decolonising the academy?’ (morning) and open ‘Academic-student collaborations’ (evening). That studio will then wrap-up before the summer break on June 6 . After the break ‘Anthropology across disciplines’ will open. Sessions on October 10, will conclude ‘Anthropology across disciplines’ and open ‘Anthropology and the university’. The final session, on November 7, will begin by concluding the studio on ‘Anthropology and the university’, and end with a general conclusion to the conference as a whole.
In the month-long interval between the opening and closing sessions for each studio, participants are encouraged to continue their readings and discussions, using the online conference platform.
How to take part
The conference welcomes participants at every stage of their career, whether they are working within or outwith higher education. Participants can contribute to only one studio theme but are actively encouraged to attend as many of the sessions as they can.
To contribute to a studio
We ask for an initial contribution to your chosen theme in the form of a brief position statement, idea, critique, fieldwork observation or vignette that you would like to ‘bring to the table’ for discussion.
To propose a contribution towards a studio, click the ‘Propose’ button in the header section of the specific studio. You will then need to log in – or create a log in if you’ve not used the ASA/NomadIT system before – before completing the form. The studio convenors will get in touch regarding their decision on accepting your contribution.
Deadlines for proposals
Studio 3: Friday May 2nd
Studio 4: Friday August 19th
Studio 5: Friday September 16th
To attend as a delegate
Please register to receive conference information and see Zoom meeting details. You can attend as many of the sessions as you like online. The conference is free to attend but we strongly encourage donations of between £30 and £100 for those who can afford it (e.g., those with research funds or permanent posts).
Click here to register for the event. This enables you to attend one of more studios. If you select a donation amount we will manually email you a PDF invoice for subsequent payment online or by transfer. Once registered, you will be able to log-in on the studio pages and be able to see any delegate-only content: any posted PDFs, embedded videos, links to the Studio’s Zoom, and any comments.
Please note that comments placed on the conference platform will be visible to all delegates and may be used or referenced in the subsequent publication. Permission to use material in the publication will be sought from authors after the event.
To comment on a studio you must first be registered for the conference and logged in. Then click on the studio header to expand the studio content, click on the downward arrow head to see comment section beneath the Studio detail; or click the comment icon to load the comments in a separate side window.
Any queries or difficulties, please content conference(@)theasa.org.
The organising committee
- Chair: Sarah Winkler-Reid (Newcastle University)
- Cris Shore (Goldsmiths, University of London)
- Soumhya Venkatesan (University of Manchester)
- Simone Dennis (Australian National University)
- Andrew Dawson (University of Melbourne)
- Camilla Morelli (University of Bristol)
- Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen)