The Consortium on Human Rights and Expressive Culture is a research initiative aimed at assessing the place of anthropology – especially the anthropology of music, dance, art, or other expressive media – in activating social change and resolving human rights issues and international conflicts.
The importance of development, globalization, ethno-national conflicts, and human rights to contemporary anthropology has revealed itself in the recent theoretical and methodological concerns of scholars and researchers. Especially within the context of contemporary wars, anthropologists struggle with ethical concerns due to the strategic and political weight of anthropological knowledge in foreign policy. The Consortium will address these concerns within the study of expressive culture (i.e. ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, food studies, etc.) and attempt to refine current theory and methodology in order to answer such central questions as:
1. How does the study of expressive culture impact our understanding of contemporary issues such as development, globalization, ethno-national conflicts, and human rights, especially in conflict zones?
2. How can ethnographic fieldwork methods affect the way in which both academia and the public see warfare and violence?
3. What is the role of expressive media in shaping nationalist movements and defining geopolitical space?
4. What is the place of expressive culture for communities in flux (i.e. migrants to urban areas, refugee populations, ethno-national diasporas?)
5. How can expressive culture act as a mediating device in conflict zones and during periods of political unrest?
Students and scholars are invited to contribute to the Consortium through participation in study groups, workshops, and monthly meetings, which will culminate in a symposium to be held at CUNY Hunter College in 2010. For further information, or to submit a statement of interest, send an email to email@example.com
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