Call for Papers: AAA Meeting, Denver, November 18-22, 2015
Panel Title: An Anthropology of International Relations
Dr. Monica DeHart, Professor, University of Puget Sound
Dr. Jennifer Hubbert, Associate Professor, Lewis & Clark College
Dr. William Beeman, Professor, University of Minnesota
Our interest in the topic comes from our desire to engage the theoretical and methodological challenges of doing an anthropology of relationships among nations, focusing specifically on questions of public policy, cultural diplomacy, development relations, etc. For this panel, we’re envisioning a panel comprised of folks with demonstrated, long-term research in distinct areas of global interest, but a common emphasis on rethinking both the global landscape (especially in light of the rise of the BRICS, etc.) and anthropology’s ability to engage relations among nations in a way that goes beyond just local-global reverberations.
Abstract: An Anthropology of International Relations (preliminary title)
The 1988 AAA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia featured a packed panel titled “Is an Anthropology of International Relations Possible?” that spoke to the topical overlap and conceptual divide between the two academic disciplines most concerned with the global: cultural anthropology and international relations. One commentator noted that while international relations is frequented invoked on the front page of major media publications as addressing the “international,” anthropology is more often buried inside, under the domain of the “cross cultural.” Nearly two decades later, this problem remains. A new generation of international relations scholars is advocating for the incorporation of a more anthropological viewpoint on international relations as a way to move beyond its own state-centric perspective. However while anthropology has long engaged with “politics” through studies of power relations, governance, and the articulations and effects of globalization, it has been slower to turn its critical theoretical lens on the relations between nation-states, international policy, and the very constitution of the global itself. This panel attends to the question of inter-disciplinarity and its stakes for understanding the shifting international landscape. In particular, the papers explore how to make the global strange by rendering the nation-state and its policy articulations familiar through anthropological study. What methodological and theoretical insights can an anthropological analysis offer to efforts to reconceptualize: (a) the nature of the global; (b) the new world order defined by an emergent Global South; and (c) relations among nations?