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Thursday, December 19, 2013

CASCA2014 CFP: Whatever Happened to the Anthropology of Performance?

Whatever Happened to the Anthropology of Performance?

*Organizers:*Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (York University) and Virginie
Magnat (University of British Columbia)

Recent decades have seen a so-called "performative turn" in anthropology
that dates back to the 1970s and the work of Victor Turner (Turner 1975,
1982, 1988), which directed anthropological attention to performance as
an important constituent of social reality, and to social reality as
inherently performative. Subsequently, a multitude of anthropological
projects have examined performance and performativity in terms of
aesthetics, politics, identity, subjectivity, embodiment, power and
agency (e.g. Andriolo 2006; Basso 1970; Crawford 1992; Fjeldstad and Hien
2006; Hall 2000; Harstrup 2004; Isbell 1998; Little 2006; Murray 2002;
Pravaz 2008). Furthermore, Turner's collaborations with
performance theorist Richard Schechner (Schechner 1985) marked the
genesis of a new interdisciplinary field -- performance ethnography (e.g.
Conquergood 1985; Culhane 2011; Denzin 2003; Fabian 1990; Irving 2011;
Kazubowski-Houston 2010; Madison 2010; Magnat 2011; Mienczakowski 1995;
Turner &Turner 1986). However, while anthropologists have made important
contributions to the study of performance, performativity and performance
ethnography since the 1970s, in the last few years,
anthropological innovations in these areas have dwindled. Cutting-edge
research has emerged largely from other fields, such as performance-,
communication-, and folklore studies.

This roundtable session seeks to critically examine the current moment of
stagnation in the anthropology of performance.Why has anthropology been
lagging behind other fields in pushing theoretical and
methodological boundaries in the study of performance and in performance
ethnography research? How can we reinvigorate this branch of
anthropology? What are possible future directions for the anthropology of
performance? What are the ways in which the anthropology of
performance might engage with uncertainty?

Interested scholars should submit a proposal (no more than 250 words)
indicating the scope of their contribution to the roundtable and a brief
bio to Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston
<>by January 26, 2014. Acceptance to participate
in the roundtable will be communicated in early February 2014.

Sponsored by the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE)

Information on CASCA 2014:

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