Theme: In/visibility

Projects, Media, Politics

The visible and the unseen are states of growing anthropological engagement. The conference theme looks to visibilization and concealment, and their ambiguous thresholds, as prompts to new questions in the domains of politics, the economy, religion, media, social inequality, citizenship, security, human rights and humanitarianism. Those emergent questions insist that visibility and invisibility are active processes, not merely empirical states or static qualities of appearance or non-appearance. As such, the theme of this conference draws on a thread that ties creative sociocultural engagements in anthropology to older questions of method, meaning and representation. At issue are current public controversies about “dark sites” in politics, national security, and law; shadow, alien and regulated forms within commerce, finance, and the environment; techniques of legibility, surveillance and their evasion; visual media’s growing influence; and the hopes and fears pinned on emerging biomedical, computational and manufacturing technologies. Concern with processes of in/visibilization is more than ever pertinent to anthropological representation itself, as anthropologists increasingly adopt visual media even as scholars of the cultural politics of representation and visual anthropology, ethnographic filmmakers and students of indigenous media debate the politics, ethics and methods of the image.

Keynote presentation by Faye Ginsburg, New York University, Cripping the Camera: f##k inner beauty! 5PM, Friday, 11 April

Opening plenary presentation by John Jackson, Jr., From Thin Descriptions to Thin Identities: Toward an Anthropology of the Unseen, 3PM, Thursday, 10 April

Special screening of the film, Leviathan (ranked #6 on filmcomment magazine’s top 50 films of 2013, followed by discussion with the filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, 7PM, Thursday, 10 April, Paramount Theater (walking distance from the Park Plaza)

Closing plenary presentation by Michael Herzfeld, Invisible, Inchoate, and Intimate: A Brief History of Cultural Manipulation from Crypto-Colonialism to the Global Hierarchy of Value, 5PM, Saturday, 12 April

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AES 2014 Spring Meeting Program

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