Abstracts are invited for a panel, to be presented at the American Anthropological Association, at the 2010 AAA meetings in New Orleans, November 17-21, 2010. The theme of this year’s meeting is: “Circulation.”
Deadline for submission of draft abstracts is: Friday, February 26, 2010. 5:00 est.
Panel topic: Moving Bodies, Being Subjects: Ethnographic, archaeological and historical approaches to mobility
Mobility has been an enduring, but often overshadowed and undertheorized, element in ethnographic, ethnohistorical, and archaeological research. In recent years there has been a critical turn in each of these fields as scholars have expanded their focus on mobility to include, for example, the study of diasporas and migrant workers in the post-colonial/late capitalist world; the displacement of ethnic populations by state, colonial, and imperial authorities; and the diverse patterns of residential mobility as practiced within ancient societies. These studies have successfully challenged the strict mobile/sedentary divide. Yet, in doing so, they have exposed a deep underlying assumption - namely, the determinative (although not uni-directional) relationship between the movements of subjects and the nature of their (socio-)political organization.
Our panel aims to recast this assumption such that the relationship between how subjects move and how they constitute their (socio-)political worlds becomes the object of study. In exploring this relationship we ask both epistemological and also theoretical questions: What are the implications for a ‘theory’ of mobility given anthropology’s diverse datasets (e.g. direct observations of movements, analysis of archival accounts of movements and the interpretation of isotopic signatures to infer movements)? How do our ontological categories of mobility shape interpretation? Can we consider mobility to exist a priori? Or are subjects’ abilities and/or motivations to move always already constituted within their (socio-)political worlds? How do the contemporary transnational flows of people and migratory regimes inform archaeological models of sovereignty? How can historically situated studies of ancient mobile practices inform hierarchies of mobility and the global tensions between the mobile and the localized?
We seek papers that use mobility as a prism through which to view the complexities of (socio-)political life. As such, these papers will contribute to new theorizations of the body, materiality, subjectivity, emplacement, sovereignty, and authority. In tackling the assumptions at the heart of mobility studies, the proposed panel seeks to benefit from our multiple ways of knowing subjects and to bring the often too fractious sub-disciplines of anthropology into productive dialogue.
Please submit draft abstracts of no more than 250 words, together the following information, to the panel organizers by February 26, 2010. If your paper is accepted the organizers will request finalized abstracts in time for the April 1, 2010 submission deadline to the AAA.
Contact details (email and phone)
Brief description of relevant research experience, if applicable
Maureen Marshall, University of Chicago email@example.com
Michelle Lelièvre, University of Chicago firstname.lastname@example.org