Abstracts are currently being solicited for a special issue of the journal Theoretical Criminology on the theme “the new anthropology of police as a mode of critical thought” (see full description below). Send abstracts for consideration by August 1st 2015 to email@example.com. Full drafts should be ready to submit for peer review by September 15th, 2015.
(This call for papers is for a panel to be held at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Denver this November.)
How do police “make” race? How do people experience racial bias as an element in police power? This panel initiates discussion of these questions among anthropologists from across the four fields, in dialogue with scholars from other disciplines. We bring together forensic anthropologists, forensic scientists, political and legal anthropologists, and scholars of information technology to describe, discuss and reflect upon the institutional dynamics of race-making and racial bias in the United States criminal justice system. Papers will be given on (a) the interface of biological science and racial discourse in the production of police evidence; (b) the ways in which communities speak back to and engage with police archival records and evidence; (c) the place of race in legal theory and courtroom reality; d) latent bias in perceptions of race and racism and its potential impact on investigations. By merging critical theory with a diverse array of data—from technology to biology—we aspire to frame an integrated research agenda to address two major issues 1) the multidimensional sources from which the current state of racial biases in the criminal justice institute have stemmed/are sustained, and 2) the (in)visible ways in which those who are policed experience these biases.
We are looking for 1-2 additional people to join this conversation. If you would be interested in contributing a paper to this panel, please send a paper abstract ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org before April 7.
Long-time readers of Anthropoliteia may remember that some of the first “extra-curricular” iterations of the blog were at panels at the 2009 and 2010 Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association. In my own humble estimation, these were extremely productive conversations, and not only because they resulted in an edited volume that was published by Palgrave Macmillan last year, of which we’re all extremely proud.
In that vein, and to broaden the conversation, we’ve decided to try sponsoring a panel on anthropoliteia-related issues this year. If the experiment is successful, it may even become an annual thing. Please read through the following CFP and consider offering an abstract. Also, please pass this announcement on to anyone else that may be interested.
Call for Papers: Thinking through police, producing anthropological theory
For a session to be submitted to the 2014 Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association (Washington DC, December 3–7, 2014). Dr. Kevin Karpiak (Eastern Michigan University), organizer.
Panel to be submitted for the American Ethnological Society & Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Spring Meeting Chicago, Illinois April 11-13, 2013
A significant strain of scholarship on the anthropology of ethics suggests that, since the Enlightenment, ethical thought in the West has been reduced to sheer will to power. A key point of evidence for this claim has been the reliance on bureaucratic forms of administration, which are highlighted as examples of alienating “anti-politics” machines of indifference. This panel hopes to challenge that broad understanding of the role of ethical thought within the contemporary world by using sensitive ethnographic accounts of bureaucratic praxis to explore how ethical challenges are confronted across a variety of contexts. The goal is to use these accounts in order to open up a conversation in which anthropologists might more adequately attend to moments of ethical problematization; moments that offer concrete opportunity for ethical refiguration and, therefore, ethical thought within contemporary political forms.
If you are interested in participating in the panel, please email a proposed paper title and abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr. Kevin Karpiak (email@example.com) by
Tuesday, January 22nd.
[Update: Since the deadline to submit panel proposals has been moved back, I’ve decided to extend this as well: paper abstracts should now be submitted by Wednesday, February 13th.]
(This CFP seems relevant to this dialogue about the utility of theorizing policing around a concept of culture)
Call For Papers — Proposed Session for AAA 2010
THE CULTURE CONCEPT IN CONTEMPORARY CIRCULATION
Does the culture concept have a place in anthropological understandings of a world increasingly defined and shaped by global circulations? Or, as decades of critique would wish it, can a concept of distinctive logics organizing human relations no longer hold water as the boundaries between the contexts and spaces in which those relations are negotiated become increasingly porous? This panel will consider, in light of both the history of its critiques, and recent ethnographic work from diverse locations and positions, the continuing relevance of a concept of culture — taken as a distinctive logic organizing social relations, moral and political projects, collective histories and imagined futures — as anthropology responds to the apparent dissolution of spatio-temporal, social and communicative boundaries. To what extent does the culture concept rely on our capacity to identify bounded collectivities, or on the isolation of those collectivities from each other, their ignorance of a world outside their “own” world, or on the difficulty of people associating with more than one of them or moving between them? (To put it another way: must “cultural” context always be relatively presupposed, rather than entailed?) What do prior theorizations of culture qua both difference and structure bring to our understanding of contemporary negotiations of the semiotic fields in which identity, alterity, and other sorts of projects come (or fail to come) into being? As it proliferates as a form in circulation beyond anthropological discourse, what force does culture retain or accrue as context or pretext, social text or hypertext? What pressure does the appearance of culture as a form in circulation place on our uses of culture as analytic frame?
Rather than seeing contemporary difficulties with deploying the concept of cultures as objects coterminous with geographically bounded social entities as an occasion for despair we see it as an opportunity for a productive untangling: Is difference (especially difference marked by a boundary) essential to the culture concept or simply the context in which it was first noticed? Need cultural “logics” be largely or partly unconscious to be powerful or is this a misguided analogy with linguistics? Need people have only one culture? Are unit cultures but one historically specific way in which human semiotic life can be organized (as bands, empires, or states are historically specific ways of organizing human political life)? Such untangling might let us continue to understand culture as the ground on which both alterity and alliance are negotiated regardless of the size and boundedness of the units involved, a use we see as faithful to its intellectual and political history, as well as one with a promising future on both fronts. As a platform for — and as a form accompanying— people and projects in circulation, the analytic concept of culture may in fact be of greater importance than ever.
Please address inquiries and submissions, in the form of an abstract of no more than 250 words, as e-mail text or attachment, to session organizers: Amy McLachlan (University of Chicago) firstname.lastname@example.org, or Daniel Rosenblatt (Carleton University) email@example.com, by Friday, March 26th. In addition to an abstract, please also include your full name, contact information and institutional affiliation.
Feel free to circulate this announcement widely!