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Networks: Anthropology of Economy Network

The Anthropology of Economy network was launched at EASA 2012 in Nanterre. We are a young and growing network, with about 140 subscribers to our listserve so far. We have a friendly association with the Society of Economic Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association, and some cross-membership.

Research interests among the group are both diverse and strongly resonant with one another; we range from work on rural economies and agriculture to household and informal economies to energy technologies, from local money lenders and micro-credit schemes to international development projects, from local experiences of economic crisis to studies of multi-national corporations, taxation and investment practices.

Intention and justification

Anthropology of economy is one of the most vivid, rich and complex subfields of the discipline, and its scope has grown and diversified in many ways, particularly during the last decade. Economy is integral to genuine anthropological preoccupations like globalization, development, entrepreneurship, household organization, institutions, food, work, consumption, sustainable energies, fisheries or markets. Given the ongoing economic instability in Europe and shifts in global economies, fostering widespread concerns that the dominance of the prevailing economic theory is no longer tenable, there is clearly an opening for the diverse perspectives on economy that anthropology can provide, and a need for anthropologists of economy to collectively engage in unfolding debates.

In this context, an EASA network on Anthropology of Economy makes sense and is past due. Given the number of workshops convened for EASA 2012 devoted to themes of economy, finance, development, etc., it appears that significant interest in anthropology of economy already exists within EASA.

Objectives
The purpose of this network is to provide a rallying point for EASA members who share this interest. To that end, the first step is to set up an easaonline.org listserve to facilitate communication among members and to enable them to share announcements about developments in research, conferences, publications, funding and employment opportunities, etc. The Network can also serve as a platform to liaise with similar networks elsewhere, such as the U.S.-based Society for Economic Anthropology, as well as with alternative economics organizations such as the recently launched World Economics Association.

Possible activities
The main locus of activity during the early life of this network will be its listserve. Members will be encouraged to communicate their interests to one another and identify nodes of common interest. The Anthropology of Economy Network will certainly be active during the EASA conventions (sponsoring one official workshop, holding a network meeting, facilitating the organization of other non-official workshops) and it is expected that it would eventually hold an annual conference (during EASA convention off-years). Initially, however, members will be encouraged to hold smaller local networking events that will be valuable in and of themselves for the scholarly engagement they would foster, but which could also be catalysts for research and writing collaborations. It is hoped the network will be supportive in particular for student members.

Mailing list
The network is now operating a mailing list. To join the list, click here and follow the instructions. Please also send a short paragraph describing your research interests (plus URL of your homepage, if you have one) to the network convenors.

Network convenors (Provisional)
Detelina Tocheva (CNRS, Paris),
Dimitra Kofti (Max Plank Institute),
Hugo Valenzuela García, (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),
Martin Fotta (Institut für Ethnologie, Goethe Universität),
Peter Peter Simonič (Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Ljubljana)