Department of Social Anthropology
bsas seminar

Department seminar: Matei Candea

The Department of Social Anthropology is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Dr. Matei Candea, University of Cambridge. The title of the lecture is "On visual coherence and visual excess: writing, diagrams and anthropological form".

Illustration Candea
Dr. Matei Candea will focus on visual coherence in his talk Thursday Jan 17.
Matei Candeas

Main content

Seminar paper

This paper focuses on questions of form and formalism in anthropological knowledge production, through a very specific example: that of the changing uses of diagrams in anthropology.

Drawing on historical examples and on an account of my own experience of developing a partly diagrammatic argument about anthropological comparison, I will argue that one key virtue of diagrams and other kinds of formal representation is that they act as a kind of limit on the proliferation of verbal arguments, but that conversely, diagrams and other formalisms can also suggest new possibilities and vistas, to which the accompanying text in turn acts as a productive limit.

At the intersection of these visual and verbal channels, the ways they mutually limit and enable one another, lies a particular model of rigour which I argue points to a broader epistemic form in anthropology more broadly.

About the lecturer

Dr. Matei Candea is Reader in Social Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

Light refreshments will be served in the Corner Room after the seminar. All interested are welcome!