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Institutt for sosialantropologi

forelesningsrekke

Fredrik Barth-forelesningen

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Logo Fredrik Barth-forelesningen

Fredrik Barth-forelesningen vil holdes hver høst, fortrinnsvis i oktober.

Akademikeren som inviteres står på en eller annen måte i relasjon til Fredrik Barths antropologiske fundament: utviklingen av teori basert på solid etnografi og deltakende observasjon, i tillegg til vektleggingen av komparasjon. Foredragsholderen kan både være en ung og lovende forsker eller en etablert akademiker, som i sin forskning er opptatt av noen av de samme regioner og/eller tema som Fredrik Barth selv utforsket i sin karriere.

Instituttleder og instituttets forskningskomité finner frem til aktuelle kandidatene basert på forslag og anbefalinger fra instituttets vitenskapelige stab. Foredraget holdt i The Fredrik Barth Memorial Lecture vil bli vurdert for publisering i tidsskriftet Social Analysis.

 

2017

Dr. Madeleine Reeves

Scaling sovereignty: intimate militarism and the anthropology of exception

What is at stake in contemporary calls to ‘take back control’ of state borders? What is being hoped for in demands to ‘regain sovereignty’ in places where it is felt to have been lost or compromised?  In this essay I seek to situate state desire as a properly anthropological object of enquiry through an engagement with Barth’s work on scale. My starting point is a critical engagement, through the lens of scale, with recent ethnographic literature that has taken the production of legal exceptions as the starting point for an anthropology of contemporary sovereignty. Such literature has productively illuminated the legal, political and institutional mechanisms through which some human lives are systematically rendered ‘bare’.

Yet anthropology’s concern with sovereignty-as-exception has, I suggest, left us with fewer tools for exploring sovereignty-as-aspiration: with recognizing the bordered, territorially-integral, notionally-sovereign state as locus of material and affective investment. The concept of scale can be productive here, precisely by illuminating how ‘sovereignty’ might appear differently at different ethnographic and analytical scales. Drawing on research along Kyrgyzstan’s borders with neighbouring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, I seek to develop this argument ethnographically by exploring what I call ‘intimate militarism’: the normalization of, and desire for, military presence as an index of social and geographical legibility in a context otherwise marked by consistent state withdrawal.

2016

Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Flows and boundaries in the Creole world

The boundary is a key concept in Fredrik Barth's work, not only in Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, but also in his earlier writings about ecology in Pakistan and Iran and his later writings about pluralism in Oman and Bali. He showed, famously, how ideas and concepts, practices and even people could cross boundaries without threatening their integrity.

In recent decades, however, the boundary itself has become a privileged site for anthropologial theorising and research. In symbolic or cultural anthropology, an influential tendency interrogates the nature/culture boundary (interestingly enough in ways sometimes reminiscent of Barth's study of Baktaman symbolism). In this lecture, I explore a different kind of boundary, or perhaps non-boundary, by looking at a social identity formation which eschews boundaries, embraces impurities and celebrates openness. Can the post-slavery peoples commonly known as Creoles be considered ethnic groups at all, or do they represent a social form unbeknownst to and incompatible with a social anthropology assuming that groups need boundaries in order to perpetuate themselves? Examples will be drawn from the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, and I shall ask what Creoles could learn from Barth and vice versa.

2015

Professor Magnus Marsden

Revisiting Entrepreneurs: Afghan trans-regional trading networks across Eurasia and beyond

Professor Magnus Marsden, University of Sussex, ga den første Fredrik Barth Honorary Lecture, 15. oktober 2015. Marsdens forskning fokuserer på islam i sentral- og sør-Asia, som er regionen Barth selv gjorde sitt første betydningsfulle feltarbeid. Marsdens tidligere arbeid har tatt for seg grenseområdet Afghanistan-Pakistan-Tajikistan som et kjernepunkt for møter mellom muslimer på tvers av Den kalde krigens grenser. I hans bok "Trading Worlds: Afghan Merchants Across Modern Frontiers" (2015) videreutvikler Marsden sin interesse for mobile individer og familier i regionen ved å se på afghanske handelsnettverk og de ferdigheter og verdier menneskene her knytter til handel og arbeidsliv.