Sos.ant. seminar 8.feb.

God måte å starte torsdagens communitas på?

Department of Social Anthropology Seminars:

Professor Richard Werbner
Department of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Thursday, February 8

I. Lecture/seminar: 12.00-13.30, Meeting Room 9th floor (OBS time and place):
Occult Darkness, Dignity and Compassion in Divination
This lecture builds on Epstein’s study among Tolai in Papua New Guinea of compassion, concern, human fellowship, love, in a Tolai word, varmari. The argument attacks the sensational, Conradian, Heart of Darkness image in Afropessimism. This is the image so widely held among Africanists at least since the 1990’s. Accordingly, the anthropological imagination has become over-run by an obsession with fantasies and scandals in stories of rampant anxiety, fear, insecurity and in actual violations of human beings, most sensationally, in so-called ritual murders to get human body parts. Accordingly also, for
Africa, this decade or so has foregrounded the Modernity of Witchcraft paradigm, now well past its shelf-life. Against that image and paradigm, this lecture opens out the making in occult séances of intersubjective knowledge, dignity, compassion and responsibility.

II. Film/talk/discussion: 14.15 – 16.00 (Seminar room 8th floor):
Shade Seekers and the Mixer
This film about moral imagination is set in Botswana’s Moremi village in the awesome Tswapong Hills. Following a controversy around a maverick, hybridizing healer, it shows how people regard personal dignity, charisma and power, according to the way they perceive culturally metaphorised illumination – shade. light and dark- in their lives. The film provides a basis for arguing that the process of anthropological film-making itself, from shooting to editing, reaches beyond recording or representation to ethnographic discovery. Against ‘the aesthetic turn’ in visual anthropology (MacDougall’s terms, 2006), the contribution is dialogical, more aimed at revealing the subjects’own arguments, consciousness and interpretive practice, including their moral rhetoric, than their sensory experience.
(The second session does not depend on the first.)

3 kommentarer til «Sos.ant. seminar 8.feb.»

  1. Aah: Ordene «rampant anxiety», «fear» og «insecurity» kommer etter hverandre i en setning. Dette er tydeligvis noe som jeg må få med meg.

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