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Thursday, June 21, 2012

CFP: Anthropology and Imagination - ASAANZ Annual Conference 2012

Subject: CFP: Anthropology and Imagination - ASAANZ Annual Conference 2012
Reply-To: Lorena Gibson <lorenagibson@GMAIL.COM>

Dear all,

The Association of Social Anthropology of Aotearoa/New Zealand is holding
its annual conference from 8-10 December 2012 at Victoria University,
Wellington, New Zealand. The Call for Papers is below and the website will
be available soon.

Lorena Gibson
Lecturer, Cultural Anthropology
School of Social and Cultural Studies
Victoria University of Wellington
Wellington, New Zealand

Call for Papers:


Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear, alone on a
tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which
has brought you sails away out of sight… (Malinowski 1922:4)

Is there a distinct anthropological way of imagining the world? How might
we as anthropologists imagine our discipline, our objects of study and the
relationship between them? This conference will explore the imaginative
processes that shape and emerge from the anthropological project.

At its core anthropology demands an imaginative leap by comparatively
challenging the naturalness of one's own cultural world. But imagination
also drives the transformation and reinvention of the discipline.
Postcolonial and postmodern anthropologists, for example, sought to
re-imagine anthropology, the politics of knowledge and the discipline's
place in the world. This project continues in the context of
globalisation, and Appadurai (2000:6) has called on anthropology to
refigure the research imaginary in order to capture emerging transnational
flows and disjunctures. Recognising the role of imagination, he argues,
attends to “a faculty that informs the daily lives of ordinary people in
myriad ways: it allows people to consider migration, resist state
violence, seek social redress, and design new forms of civic association
and collaboration across national boundaries.”

Imagination, while clearly evident in artistic processes, is equally
present in the worlds of science, in technological, "rational‟ processes
such as Development, and in political movements such as the recent Occupy
movements. Such practices invite people to imagine new and possible social
forms and subjectivities. Attending to imagination thus allows us to
understand both the agency and ingenuity of our participants, and how they
make do within the confines of everyday life.

We invite papers and panels that interpret and critically reflect on the
conference theme in its broadest sense. We also welcome abstracts from
anthropologists who feel their research falls outside the bounds of this
theme. Potential themes for panels and papers could include, but are not
limited to, the following:

What is the role of imagination in ethnography, for example in conceiving
a research topic, conducting fieldwork, analysing findings, creating
research relationships, and writing ethnographic texts? How might we
imaginatively re-craft or extend anthropological methods?
What can the concept of imagination yield analytically for anthropology?
How does imagination figure as a social practice in a range of
ethnographic settings, and does the concept have cross-cultural
How do different groups and publics imagine anthropology?
How is anthropology re-imagining its analytical frameworks, for example in
concepts such as agency and structure, morality and ethics, gender,
kinship, culture, political ecology, migration, globalisation, capitalism,
development, mobility, tourism, class, sexuality, race, social movements,
and more?
What is the relationship between imagination and creativity, hope, desire,
utopia and fantasy, and ideas of the real and possible?
How are imagined communities shaping contemporary life, such as online and
transnational groups?
How is the university and education being reimagined through evolving and
emerging forms of governance, and what is anthropology‟s role in shaping
such imaginings?
How might we imagine the future of anthropology?

Abstract Submission Guidelines

We welcome both panel and individual paper proposals.

To propose a panel, please send the title and a brief description (150
words) of your panel, a short biographical note about yourself, the names
and contact details of presenters, the titles of their papers, and a 150
word abstract for each paper to

There is no specified or minimum number of papers for a panel proposal.
Please note that the conference committee will add individually submitted
papers to proposed panels if they fit within a panel's theme. Panel
details will be uploaded onto the ASAANZ website as they are accepted, and
when submitting an individual paper you may indicate to the conference
committee your desire to be placed within a particular panel. You do not
need to contact the panel organiser.

Individual papers will be organised into panels by the conference
committee. Paper presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. To propose a
paper, please send a title and 150 word abstract along with your contact
information and a short biographical note to:


Submission of panel proposals: 15th of June 2012
Submission of paper proposals: 15th August 2012
For all submissions and inquiries, please email

Key dates and timeframe

Start: Saturday afternoon, the 8th of December 2012
End: Monday afternoon, the 10th of December 2012
Conference Dinner: Sunday evening, the 9th of December 2012

Further Information

The ASAANZ website ( can be consulted soon
for information on registration, the programme, accommodation options, and
events, as this information becomes available.

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