“Translations of Value,” Society for Cultural Anthropology Biennial Spring Conference
May 5-6, 2006
Panel Organizers: Deepa Reddy, University of Houston—Clear Lake; Jennifer Hamilton, Baylor College of Medicine
Panel Title: Processes of Translation, Translations of Substance
In keeping with the conference theme, we are interested in papers that explore processes by which new translations of value are created, especially those that apply to the production, circulation, and configuration of substance in a broad anthropological sense (as “vital part or essence; separate distinct thing; that which underlies phenomena;
and corporeal matter” (Carsten 2001)). While our own substantive interests in these processes emerge from a collaborative project in the ethnography of human genetic variation research and the circulation of genetic materials and knowledge, we are also open to work that expands these themes beyond the specific realm of bioscience. Topics might include:
• The transformation of substance within shifting systems of value. What kinds of agents, knowledge, and expertise are mobilized around translations of value? For instance, how is it that certain practices/processes are newly translated as ‘ethical’?
• Renewed anthropological interest in ‘older’ traffics (e.g., by means of kinship--women, gifts, commodities, fluids, etc) but as these traffics compel novel things and persons. What are these compulsions, and how do they work in contemporary contexts to produce new traffics, economies, formulations, distinctions, and categories?
• Processes that work to reconfigure categories such as property, ownership, and value in particular contexts (e.g., blood, organs, culture/heritage, etc).
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words and brief biosketch (1-2 lines) to Jennifer Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 23, 2005.
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, Suite 310D
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 798-4119
Fax: (713) 798-5678 Email: email@example.com
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