call for papers: colonial crisis and cross-cultural encounters, european association of social anthropologists


This conference looks set to take place at Maynooth, County Kildare, in August. From their website:

Short Abstract

This panel will explore cross-cultural experiences of crisis in the course of colonial encounters. We invite papers that focus on the colonized, and/or on the colonizers and their practices and concepts. Colonial is understood broadly, including both imperial and internal colonialism

Long Abstract

Colonial encounters have often been marked by moments of crisis. This might for example refer to the nefarious consequences of colonial regimes upon the indigenous cultures, or to the varied modes of autochthonous resistance that followed colonial domination. Yet, ‘crisis’ also appears in relation to the internal condition of many colonial regimes. Colonizers very often had to deal with shortage of capital and personnel; insufficient knowledge production about the ‘Other’; slippages into immorality and ‘savagery’; or, still, with metropolitan expectations hard to accomplish in the periphery. This panel seeks to explore from the perspective of historical anthropology the varied indigenous and colonial experiences of, and strategies for dealing with, crises resulting from colonial encounters. ‘Colonial crisis’ will be approached not simply as a negative and destructive notion, but also as a cross-cultural juncture for the reconfiguration of social relationships. As such, we invite papers that explore the cross-cultural significance of colonial events of crisis, engaging with empirical material. How, and why, are certain colonial encounters and events experienced and represented as ‘crisis’, for example in archives? Which specific processes are triggered by these experiences and representations, and how does this reconfigure the social, cultural, and political forms mediating between colonizers and colonized? What strategies are used to deal with colonial crisis, within both the colonizing and indigenous communities? Can processes of crisis be understood as productive moments of the reinvention of the social, rather than mere negative aspects of colonialism? ‘Colonial’ will here be taken broadly, including both imperial expansionism and internal colonialism and state-building in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, or America. Areas of inquiry might refer to (but are not limited to) topics such as state-minorities relations, regimes of colonial administration, medicine, archives, governmentality, ritual and religion, commerce, or conquest.

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