Literary Anthropology

Advanced Seminar

April 21–25, 2013

Literary AnthropologyLiterary AnthropologyAdvanced Seminar Co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013. Photograph by Jason S. OrdazLiterary AnthropologyAdvanced Seminar Co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013. Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz

This advanced seminar was convened to explore the place of literary craft in contemporary anthropology, focusing attention on forms of transformative encounter provoked by the reading and writing of anthropological literature. Participants included anthropologists who have engaged creatively and experimentally with the practice of anthropological writing, blending ethnography with narrative forms such as fiction, memoir, poetry, and travelogue. The seminar was intended both as a forum for conceptual discussion and as an intensive workshop for the collaborative development of innovative forms of anthropological prose. Renewed attention was focused on the discipline's unique position between the social sciences, humanities, and creative arts. The intent of the seminar was to be a book that attests to the promise of literary anthropology as an essential form of contemporary public engagement—an opportunity not only to reach different kinds of audiences, but also to unsettle familiar idioms of academic description and explanation.

“The agenda for the seminar interspersed workshop sessions devoted to individual papers with thematically oriented discussions of particular topics.  The seminar began with a discussion of disciplinary and institutional resistences to attempts to make writing more central to the theory and practice of anthropology (something each of the participants had encountered in some form).  Other topics covered included the possible forms of anthropological writing, including the possibilities offered by verse as opposed to prose and by the comparative anthropological essay as distinct from the ethnographic monograph,” report co-chairs, Stuart Mclean and Anand Pandian. They concluded their report by writing, “The seminar we co-chaired on “Literary Anthropology” proved to be highly productive and featured some intense – and indeed impassioned – discussion.”

Anand Pandian discussing his paperAnand Pandian discussing his paperAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. OrdazAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. OrdazAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. Ordaz
Anand Pandian discussing his paperAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”
Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. OrdazAnand Pandian and Stuart McLeanAnand Pandian and Stuart McLeanAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. OrdazStuart McLeanStuart McLeanAdvanced seminar “Literary Anthropology” co-chaired by Stuart McLean, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota and Anand Pandian, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 21–25, 2013, photograph by Jason S. Ordaz
Advanced seminar “Literary Anthropology”Anand Pandian and Stuart McLeanStuart McLean
Stuart McLean, Chair Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota SEA
Anand Pandian, Chair Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University Untitled
Angela Garcia Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University The Ambivalent Archive
Daniella Gondolfo Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Wesleyan University Conversations with a Hunter
Tobias Hecht Independent Scholar, In Passing
Michael D. Jackson Distinguished Visiting Professor of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University The Subject and Object of Ethnographic Writing
Adrie Kusserow Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, St. Michael's College Untitled
Todd Ramón Ochoa Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Origami Conjecture for a Bembé
Stefania Pandolfo Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley Ramz: The Passion of Ilyas
Lisa Stevenson Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada A Proper Message

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