Brown bag seminar: Where are the people?

By Anna Tsing, Nils Bubandt, and Heather Swanson.

2018.05.01 | Jon Bendixen

Date Wed 06 Jun
Time 13:00 14:00
Location Auditorium 1 (4206-117), Moesgaard Campus

When AURA anthropologists speak and write about more-than-human landscapes or environmental practices and commitments, our interlocutors often ask, “Where are the people?” We are surprised; we imagined that our whole project was about people—as well as the world in which people are engaged. Yet this response has been so common that we take it very seriously. How might we get into better dialogue with anthropological understandings of “the people”? Where do we want to challenge the field, and where learn from continuing disciplinary legacies?

This brown bag asks these questions, beginning with five-minute provocations and leading into discussion. Anna will introduce the session by explaining the “Where are the people?” problem. Then Nils will explore anthropology as a “minor science”, asking how phenomenology has been allowed to define our considerations of people, and whether this is a useful direction to continue. Next, Heather will explore ecological globalization: what kinds of “people” and what kinds of “science” occupy this cosmopolitan space? Finally, Anna will consider the problem of narrative blockage: Is there a contradiction between the creative optimism we anthropologists invest in “the people” and environmental bad news?  We look forward to learning from the perspectives of everyone in the department.