This event has already taken place. The recorded session will soon be available on our YouTube channel.
In 1996 SAR Press published Senses of Place, an edited volume that originated as an SAR Advanced Seminar co-chaired by Steven Feld and Keith Basso, two anthropologists working at the forefront of their field. Feld studies the anthropology of sound and worked for many years in the Bosavi rain forest of Papua New Guinea, researching environmental sounds, bird calls, weeping, poetics, and song. Basso (1940–2013) worked with the Western Apache people to understand how they use their landscape to generate, reflect upon, and share knowledge—and wisdom—with each other.
To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the book’s publication, SAR Press will host Steven Feld (distinguished professor of anthropology emeritus, University of New Mexico), Amahl Bishara (associate professor of anthropology, Tufts University), and Kristina Lyons (assistant professor of anthropology, University of Pennsylvania) for a virtual conversation about the book’s impact, as well as more recent developments in the field.
“Like anthropology more generally,” says Feld, “I have shifted in the last fifteen years from intensely rooted and bounded place experience, like in Papua New Guinea, to work with deeply rooted cosmopolitans in Ghana. The field of place studies has moved into globalized, diasporic, disbursed, and cosmopolitan placed identities.” The original chapters did not focus on refugees and displacement, cosmopolitanism, or feminist studies of science and environment, especially in relation to Indigenous place-making and transnational politics, all of which have changed anthropological thinking about place over the last twenty-five years. In collaboration with Bishara, who contributed a chapter on Palestinian resistance to Walling In and Walling Out (SAR Press, 2020), and Lyons, who recently published Vital Decomposition (Duke University Press, 2020), Feld hopes to explore these more recent developments and expand on the conversation that Senses of Place helped to start.
About the speakers:
Steven Feld is a senior scholar at SAR and distinguished professor emeritus in anthropology at the University of New Mexico. With Keith Basso, he convened the 1993 “Place, Expression, Experience” SAR Advanced Seminar that resulted in the 1996 book Senses of Place.
Amahl Bishara is an associate professor and chair of anthropology at Tufts University. She is the author of Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics, and she writes about the politics and experiences of Palestinian places across the West Bank and in Israel.
Kristina Lyons is an assistant professor of anthropology and part of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2020 her book Vital Decomposition: Soil Practitioners and Life Politics was published with Duke University Press.
This event is supported in part by the Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Foundation.