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EASA2016 Logo14th EASA Biennial Conference
Anthropological legacies and human futures
Department of Human Science for Education 'Riccardo Massa' and Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Milano-Bicocca
20-23 July, 2016

Events and meetings

Wednesday 20 July

16:45-18:30: Field Recording: workshop on sound ethnography, U6-17

We are immersed in sound all the time; sounds and voices are a layer of meanings that can reveal much about environment and culture. Soundscapes may provide an important material for research methodologies and artistic practices. This workshop will present different ways to incorporate the audio of our surroundings into our fieldwork and will explore how to map the soundscape during our research.

19:00-19:30: Opening of EASA2016, Aula Magna, U6 (video relay in U6, room U6-4 and U4, U4-8)

The ceremony will start with welcome speeches and continue with a performance from the choir Le Voci di Mezzo.
Le Voci di Mezzo, "the Voices in between" or the "Middle Voices", is a group of singing people and a cultural association which aims to keep traditional popular chants, songs and vocal techniques alive in Milan. They sing in the streets as well as on stage and do research and hold courses so as to hand down memories and knowledge while enjoying themselves. Their repertoire goes from archaic sounding peasants' chants to XX century partisan songs and factory workers protestation songs from all parts of Italy. An intense networking and exchange with similar associations in other parts of the world has recently enriched their repertoire with new sounds, melodies and rythms.

19:30-20:30: Keynote lecture by Didier Fassin (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Aula Magna, U6 (video relay in U6, room U6-4 and U4, U4-8)

The endurance of critique
In a time when critique is considered by some to be running out of steam and is disqualified by others in the name of a triumphant positivism, anthropology may have to reclaim its various critical traditions, including that of self-critique, to apprehend a world in which weak social and political consensus too often serves to elude the tensions, contradictions and even aporia of contemporary society. This implies resisting both the various manifestations of disenchantment regarding the supposed decline of the discipline and the recurrent tendency to proclaim so-called turns in an incessant race to innovation. Although not a privilege of the anthropologists, ethnography – as they practice it – is of particular relevance for this endeavour. But rather than being programmatic, the lecture will be analytic, discussing the issues raised by the practice of critical ethnography. Based on present case studies, it will be an attempt to bridge anthropological legacies and futures.

20:30-21:30: Welcome drinks reception, U6 Foyer

After the keynote lecture, EASA and the Department of Human Science for Education 'Riccardo Massa' and Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Milano-Bicocca invite you to stay on for a drinks reception, to enjoy Italian wine and delicious snacks.

Thursday 21 July

13:15-14:30: 'Meet the Editor' with Anthropological Theory, U6-3

What is Theory? Who does Theory? And what can Theory do? The new editors, Julia Eckert, Stephen Reyna, and Nina Glick Schiller and several members of the editorial board of Anthropological Theory invite you to meet and discuss which decisive theoretical questions and debates face the discipline today, beginning with the premise that theory is important everywhere as humans strive to explain, understand, and speak to the human condition. This is part of the new editors’ call to build Anthropological Theory as a globally collaborative project in theory building and to positions ourselves in the ongoing debate about the nature and significance of theory in anthropology, including the questions who it is for and whose voice it represents. The underlying goal is to encourage projects of theory building that are from and for everybody and take up the the challenges of an ‘ex-centric’ (Bhabha 1994:6) anthropological theory.

13:15-14:30: Network convenors’ meeting, U6-12 (invite only)

In 1996 EASA began to establish permanent networks of scholars from all over Europe to cooperate on fields of special interest. These networks are constantly growing and provide excellent opportunities for collaboration and exchange in areas of special interest. The network convenors’ meeting offers a chance for those who convene the different EASA networks to get together, face-to-face, along with the EASA President and Networks liaison officer to discuss the possibilities and issues related to the growing number of active networks.

16:30-17:00: SIEF2017 launch (with wine), U6 Foyer

Announcing the Call for Panels for EASA sister organisation SIEF’s (Societé Internationale d'ethnologie et de Folklore) 13th Congress Ways of Dwelling: Crisis - Craft – Creativity, that will be taking place in Göttingen, Germany, March 26th to 30th, 2017.
The 2017 SIEF Congress approaches the pressing, worldwide concern for adequate ways of living in an era of political, economic, and environmental turmoil. All have occasioned home loss and flight, not least in the direction of Europe. Rather than displacement and mobility, the congress concentrates on the challenges, from material to ideological, posed by masses of people seeking to make temporary or permanent homes in new places. Under this framework of dwelling, the congress theme draws together urgent topics in the ethnographic disciplines: free and forced migration, social integration, urban transformation, heritage and heritage loss. Bringing these research programs into conversation with old and new work on craft and creativity, the congress seeks to energize crisis-driven thinking by opening up areas of cultural potential. The congress will shed light on the ways in which individuals and collectivities tackle their intertwined dilemmas, at every level from everyday practice to policy debate.

17:00-18:45: The voice of the people I: vox populi and folk song, an embodied experience, U2-8b

Singing implies an embodied culture of sounds. It's not only about the emission of sounds but also and equally about listening and recognizing "right" sounds from "flat" ones, about aesthetic and loud screaming. Through singing, one gets to know how and where to stand or learns how to claim new positions, especially when it comes to changing from being silenced to making oneself heard. Voice is gendered and so is what is sung. 
Some members of the Milanese cultural association "Le Voci di Mezzo" will teach a song of the Italian folk tradition. This might be a work song, a protestation or partisan one, or a ballad or something else, depending on the participants. Emphasis will be put on vocal techniques and breath as related to the text. No musical experience or language knowledge is required. On the contrary, this experiential lab is about acquiring embodied knowledge or experiencing total otherness when other people sing.

17:00-18:45: Getting your Article Published, U6-1A

Niko Besnier, University of Amsterdam and Editor-in-Chief, American Ethnologist

For many scholars who are getting started in their academic careers, how to get an article published is fraught with mystery and anxiety-provoking. This workshop aims to dispel some of the mystery and alleviate some of the anxiety. Focusing in particular on our journal American Ethnologist, we will analyze argument structure, the relationship between theory and ethnography, issues of voice, and the practical aspects of writing and submitting an article manuscript that will sail through the review process.

17:00-18:45: EASA Network meetings, locations indicated after each network's name

The networks listed below will hold meetings, and all delegates are welcome to attend - both those already involved and those interested in participating in future activities.
Anthropology of Confinement Network (ConfinementNet), U6-20
Anthropology and Mobility network (ANTHROMOB), U6-21
Anthropology of Economy, U6-22
Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality (NAGS), U6-23
Anthropology of Law and Rights, U6-26
Applied Anthropology, U6-29
Disaster and Crisis Anthropology Network (DICAN), U6-24
Europeanist, U6-25
European Network for Queer Anthropology (ENQA), U6-28
Humans and Other Living Beings (HOLB), U6-27
Network of Ethnographic Theory (NET), U6-3
Media Anthropology, U6-34
Mediterraneanist (MedNet), U6-35
Peace and conflict studies in anthropology (PACSA), U6-36
Teaching Anthropology (TAN), U6-37
Anthropology of Mining, U6-38

17:00-18:45: Call for an EASA Network for Anthropologies of Energy: invitation to meet and discuss, U6-1B

Anthropologists around the world are responding to Global concerns about energy, bringing valuable insights and important perspectives. Major ethnographic and theoretical works on energy justice, exploitation, concepts and comparative studies of energies have emerged in recent years. Anthropologies of energy highlight the connections between different forms of energy, the indivisibility of socio-technological systems, how energetic networks underpin economic, political and social relations at different scales, and why energy needs anthropology.

As anthropologists embrace the notion of the Anthropocene era, we remind colleagues that this Anthropocene is product of energy practices, and it is time to coordinate our approaches and debates about energies. In proposing a new EASA network for anthropologies of energy (A-En), we invite you to meet and discuss its aims and objectives; set the network’s priorities; plan network activities.

Meeting agenda:

  1. what is a network for anthropologies of energy for?
  2. rapid scoping exercise - who is doing what?
  3. how to work with other relevant networks?
  4. would you like to be involved: actively or passively?
  5. outline of network organisation, activities, plans: an agenda for the future.

17:00-18:45: WCAA delegates meeting (by invitation only), U6-12

Friday 22 July

13:15-14:30: #PrecAnthro: toward a transnational Anthropological Union, U2-8b

Organisers:  Mariya Ivancheva (University College Dublin), Theodora Vetta (Universitat de Barcelona), Alice Elliot (UCL), Dimitra Kofti (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Uncertainty and precarity have long been an integral part of anthropology - part of the excitement, serendipity, danger and thrill of fieldwork and theory. Yet today, most researchers encounter these conditions in more than one way. Many of us are caught in short fixed-term contracts, with limited bargaining power and social security/benefits (often without health insurance, pension, holiday, redundancy, or even maternity/parental leave). We are working under the burden of the 'publish or perish' imperative and have to secure research and teaching experience (sometimes unpaid) while realizing our work benefits not the public, but profit-making universities and publishers.
In this meeting we open a collaborative, transnational, and experimental space for early career anthropologists and precarious scholars in order to:

The meeting wishes to move beyond self-pity, overcome hyper-fragmentation and fear, and organize collectively before the changes in place make solidarity across positions, contracts, and contexts impossible.

16:30-17:00: Berghahn reception, U6 Foyer, Book Exhibit

There will be a New Series Launch for 'Worlds in Motion' - Volume 1 is Keywords of Mobility edited by Noel Salazar and Kiran Jayaram; there will be a Book Launch for The Agendas of Tibetan Refugees by Thomas Kauffmann. Come, meet the writers and editors and celebrate with a glass of wine, the publication of new books in anthropology by Berghahn.

17:00-18:45: Members’ Forum, Aula Magna, U6

All members are encouraged to attend this forum, to discuss the items on the agenda (see the EASA newsletter for further detail). The Executive Committee will present their reports and be available for questions from members.

18:45-19:00: BAGS drinks reception, U6 Foyer

With this informal reception we wish to announce to EASA's membership the setting up of the Baltic Anthropology Graduate School (BAGs). This is an initiative to create a joint doctoral programme which brings together the following institutions: Riga Stradins University, Tallinn University, The University of Latvia, Vytautas Magnus University. BAGs is supported initially for five years by the Wenner-Gren Institutional Development Grant.

19:00-20:30: The voice of the people II: vox populi and folk song, an embodied experience, U2-8b

Singing implies an embodied culture of sounds. It's not only about the emission of sounds but also and equally about listening and recognizing "right" sounds from "flat" ones, about aesthetic and loud screaming. Through singing, one gets to know how and where to stand or learns how to claim new positions, especially when it comes to changing from being silenced to making oneself heard. Voice is gendered and so is what is sung. 
Some members of the Milanese cultural association "Le Voci di Mezzo" will teach a song of the Italian folk tradition. This might be a work song, a protestation or partisan one, or a ballad or something else, depending on the participants. Emphasis will be put on vocal techniques and breath as related to the text. No musical experience or language knowledge is required. On the contrary, this experiential lab is about acquiring embodied knowledge or experiencing total otherness when other people sing.

19:00-20:30: Writing ERC Grant Proposals, U6-1B

Susana Narotzky (University of Barcelona and ERC Project GRECO)
Niko Besnier (University of Amsterdam and ERC Project GLOBALSPORT)

ERC grants have acquired considerable importance in the European academic landscape in the last decade, and anthropologists have been noticeably successful in obtaining these grants. Yet the distribution of this success is uneven across the continent. This hands-on workshop aims to encourage anthropologists working in different national contexts to apply to these grants; explore how to frame proposals and present projects; and discuss the opportunities and challenges that the ERC project model presents for social and cultural anthropology.

19:00-20:30: The teaching of Anthropology in European secondary schools (ANUAC and AISEA round table), U6-1A

Although scarcely represented as such, the teaching of Anthropology in European secondary school takes diverse forms: as an optional, freestanding subject, or as a component of other curricula. Drawing on different experiences this roundtable wishes to stimulate discussion and exchange of ideas concerning how the teaching of anthropology could be made more relevant and organic within secondary school pedagogic programs. The ultimate goal would be to prepare a statement to be addressed to supranational organizations such as the Council of Europe and the UNESCO in order to promote the formal recognition of the teaching of anthropology at pre-university level across Europe.

The participants will be: Eriksen Thomas Hylland (EASA president), Cristina Papa (ANUAC president), Michał Buchowski, (Polish Ethnological Society President ) , Benoit de l' Estoile (CNRS, France), Antónia Pedroso de Lima (CRIA, Lisbon),Vincenzo Matera (AISEA).

19:00-20:30: EASA Network meetings, locations indicated after each network's name

The networks listed below will hold meetings, and all delegates are welcome to attend - both those already involved and those interested in participating in future activities.
Africanist, U6-21
Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity (ARE), U6-22
Anthropology of Religion, U6-23
Anthropology of Security, U6-26
Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia (Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China) (AMCE), U6-29
Future Anthropologies Network (FAN), U6-24
Medical Anthropology, U6-25
Visual Anthropology (VANEASA), U6-27

Saturday 23 July

16:30-17:00: Pluto Press book launch Overheating: An anthropology of accelerated change (Pluto 2016) by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, U6 Foyer, Book Exhibit

The contemporary world is … too full? Too intense? Too fast? Too hot? Too unequal? Too neoliberal? Too strongly dominated by humans? — All of the above, and more. This book tries to capture accelerated globalisation through its contradictions and double binds. It combines the magnifying glass of the ethnographer with the telescope of the statistician, arguing that clashing scales are a fundamental feature of contemporary globalisation. A programmatic statement, the book covers energy, cities, information technology, waste and mobility, with no pretence of thick description, yet insisting on the primacy of the local in any credible account of globalisation. 

17:00-18:45: Roundtable: The anthropologist as curator: a roundtable, Pirelli HangarBicocca (Via Privata Chiese 2, 20126 Milano)

Chair: Roger Sansi (Universitat de Barcelona)
Discussants: Ivan Bargna (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Paolo S. H. Favero (University of Antwerp), Judith Winter (University of Aberdeen), Paul Basu (SOAS), Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Higher School of Economics), Jennifer Clarke (University of Aberdeen)

A lot has been said about “The Artist as Ethnographer/ The Ethnographer as Artist". But “The Anthropologist as Curator/the curator as anthropologist " hasn’t received the same attention. We invite anthropologists with experience in curating to think together about the “Anthropologist as curator”.

20:30-22:45: Conference banquet, La Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna, 6, 20121

Entry to the banquet is by pre-purchased ticket only, and the tickets (€50) have sold out. The Conference banquet will include an excellent three-course gourmet meal with wine, coffee/tea and aperitifs. La Triennale di Milano is a design and art museum in the Parco Sempione in Milan, housed in the Palazzo dell'Arte, which was designed by Giovanni Muzio and built between 1931 and 1933. The museum hosts exhibitions and events which highlight contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music, and media arts, emphasizing the relationship between art and industry. The museum also houses the Collezione Permanente, a collection of significant objects in contemporary Italian design.

23:00-02:00: Final party, Restaurant Cost, Via Tito Speri, 820154 Milano

The final dance party has a ticket price of €5 per delegate (and that includes a welcome drink!).  You are all warmly invited to celebrate and commemorate the passing of EASA2016 while dancing and not having to hear a word of anthropology over the loud disco music.