Call for Proposals 2018

10th Annual McGill Anthropology Graduate Conference: Call for Proposals


Theme: Sensing, Making Sense, and Sensibilities

The world we inhabit and our lived experiences are so fluid and intricate as to seem beyond complete grasp. What does it mean to study humanity’s diverse vantages in the past and present, and phenomena that are ephemeral in occurrence yet enduring in consequence and cognizance? How does sensing the world help us make life and meaning within and beyond what can be clearly and distinctly known? Presentations may address any of the following issues:

• Sensing the world: How do people come to know the world through the senses? What creative methods – whether ethnographic, linguistic or archaeological – can help us reckon with sensory ways of knowing, or allow us to think through our senses?

• Making sense of the world: How do we come to understand or imagine lived experiences through which we know the world? What happens when we take the ontologies of our interlocutors seriously, not merely as frames of mind, but rather as ways of sensing and engaging the world? How do our own ontologies impact our research? Is sensation passive, or do we make it? Can sensation be shared? What can obstruct such sharing? How can we as anthropologists formulate and disseminate sensorially rich research findings in manners which are accessible to specialized or general audiences? Through what means can we conduct effective research when little data can be gathered (e.g. when subjects or themes are historically removed or prospectively imagined)? What social and political ramifications do our findings and communications have?

• Sensibilities: How is subjectivity sensed? Are particular ways of being a self also ways of feeling? Can a sensibility be read through the physical traces it leaves behind? What does an anthropological sensibility look like? What are its affects and effects? How do our sensations, understandings and imaginations inform judgement of what conducts are effective and ethical in studying the past or the present? How can we as anthropologists effectively and responsibly attend to various methodological and ethical conundrums that inevitably emerge throughout research? How do sensitivities guide applied research?

The 2018 McGill Anthropology Graduate Conference (April 6-8), organised by the McGill University Anthropology Graduate Student Association (AGSA), is a forum for students to address the above-mentioned issues and questions in the form of a paper presentation, photo exhibit, video screening, or performance/installation art. Contributions can be related to any of the four subfields of anthropology (cultural/social anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, biological anthropology), but those from related disciplines may be included as well. Please submit contribution proposals to anthro.grad.conference.@gmail.com no later than January 12, 2018. Proposals should include a title, an abstract (max. 200 words) and details pertaining to the particular presentation format (i.e. paper, photo, video, performance/installation art). Photo exhibit contributions are limited to two images, and proposals should include the image(s) as attached file(s). Responses to applicants will be sent out in late February, 2018.

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