Call for Papers

Ethnographic Practices and the Temporality of Evidence
CASCA-CUBA: 
Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting 16-20 May, 2018
Universidad de Oriente – Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Panel Organizer: Maxime Polleri, York University

 Following the ongoing concerns surrounding questions of scientific knowledge and the role of anthropology in accessing, rationalizing, and circulating data, (Kirksey 2009; Fortun 2012; Hetherington 2013) this panel invites papers that ethnographically explore the practices of evidence-making and the challenges that anthropologists face in this endeavor.

While there is a growing acknowledgement that collecting data and disseminating evidence is deeply political in nature (Cruikshank 2006), there is little on the question of temporality of evidence (Kumar 2016). Since anthropologists typically focus on the here-and-now, relying on participant-observation and interviews, this panel addresses how ethnographic temporality and evidentiary regimes work for the discipline of anthropology and how they intersect in the production of knowledge.

This panel aims to re-examine the temporal politics of everyday discourses and practices of evidence-making, while reflecting on how ethnographic practices shape or legitimate particular temporal constructions about the rationalization of what is considered as sound evidence.

Some of the possible questions the papers may explore are:

  • The ethnographic sensibilities needed to engage with forms of harm that imply a high degree of temporal indeterminacy (e.g., exposure to hazardous materials, chronic illnesses, trauma, deep time).
  • How ethnographic approaches potentially discourage the study of a broader range of contemporary illnesses that might be traceable to past contamination?
  • How to rationalize the outcomes of past actions when the narratives and significance of evidence have already been sorted out?
  • How the temporal limitations of ethnography constitute specific categories of authoritative actors and how this influence the evidence collected?

Other themes are of course welcome. If interested, please send a 150 words abstract to Maxime Polleri by October 25, 2017 at maxpo88@yorku.ca