CALL FOR PAPERS
"Commensuration Across Boundaries"
We invite abstracts for a panel to be presented at the 2010 meetings of the American Anthropological Association, on November 17-21. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. In keeping with the meeting's theme of "Circulation," our panel is titled "Commensuration Across Boundaries."
In an effort to recuperate ‘culture’ from the economic forces that in today’s global world seem inevitably primary, Lee and LiPuma have proposed examining “cultures of circulation” (2002)—groups constituted through shared orientations to circulating semiotic objects. Their focus remains, however, on homogenous circulations, capable of uniting subjects even as they transcend international borders. We propose that, in a world in which circulating objects from near and far are encountered on an everyday basis, processes of commensuration (Nelson & Stevens 1998) are essential to any “culture of circulation.” This panel will examine how routine practices of commensuration both bind together and demarcate “cultures of circulation” of different scope: from a newly textualized ethnic newsreading public within a a national one, to minority groups constituting themselves through shared interpretive practices, to a “middle class” as it engages its class likes abroad.
Drawing on the important insight from linguistic anthropology that “the 'effect' of sameness or partial repetition is an achievement” (Gal 2007), we examine a variety of semiotic forms marked as being in circulation, as coming from somewhere beyond “our” culture of circulation, to explore the processes by which they are made commensurate (or not) with local forms. Our papers deal with various sorts of boundaries: not just international borders, but those between ethnic groups and classes. At the same time, we juxtapose a wide variety of “kinds” of circulating semiotic forms: illegible Kurdish print newspapers in Turkey; stories of pain told by Japanese minority activists to their “peers” in India; dollars and pesos at the U.S.-Mexican border. In doing so, we reflect in turn on the analytic commensurability between two major fields of analysis: linguistic anthropological investigations of interdiscursivity (Agha 2005; Bauman and Briggs 1992; Silverstein 2005) and code-switching and language-crossing (Woolard 1989; Rampton 1998), and recent anthropological inquiries into value (Appadurai 1986; Keane 2003; Pedersen 2008; Kockelman 2006).
Please submit your abstract (250 words maximum) to the panel organizers by March 24, along with your name, contact information, and institutional affiliation.
Contact details (email and phone)
Rihan Yeh, University of California, San Diego, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Hankins, University of California, San Diego, email@example.com
Please circulate widely.
Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies
University of California, San Diego
(858)822-0838 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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