Organizers: Andrew Johnson (Department of Social Sciences, Yale-NUS College, Singapore) & Daena Funahashi (Adjunct Research Fellow, Yale-NUS College, Singapore)
Recent anthropological attention has been placed upon the human/nonhuman interaction and what the nonhuman “thinks” (Kohn 2013). But when the nonhuman thinks, how do we know what it thinks? And, how do we understand “its” speech as speech?
Emergent ideas of the ontological and human beings as agents among other agents in the world, as made explicit by the notion of the anthropocene, have ushered in new ways to conceptualize human-nonhuman relationality or what Descola (2013) has called “interagentivity.” In this panel, we build upon these recent developments in anthropology to rethink what animates us and how we might animate what we think into being (cf. Moll 2014). We seek papers that re-examine the ethnography of “animism” or human-nonhuman relationality with a critical eye.
The questions that motivate us include: what moves us to do what we do? Are we authors of our own actions? Are we knowable to ourselves? Additionally, how can one engage with the nonhuman? How can we understand “its” speech? In what form would such an encounter take? What ramifications does the ontological turn have on the politics of self and other and the ethics of research in anthropology?
Please send a paper abstract of no more than 250 words to Daena at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4/10.
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