Department of Social Anthropology
bsas seminar

Department seminar: Maria E. Louw

The Department of Social Anthropology is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Dr. Maria E. Louw (Aarhus University). The title of the lecture is "Leaving oneself to the care of others: reflections on finitude, care and community in Kyrgyzstan".

Phases of life where the self are left to the care of others is central topic in Dr. Louw's talk on Wednesday March 13.
Maria E. Louw

Main content

Seminar paper

The ways humans are entangled with each other, sometimes to the point where it is hard to tell where one stops and another begins, tend to become more apparent on the thresholds that mark human life: phases of life where (aspects of) the self are left to the care of others, whether relatives, community, the state, God, or the ancestor spirits.

The experience of leaving oneself, or being left, to the care of others and the reflections and feelings which accompany the anticipation of this experience, will be my central lens to the understanding of the ethics of care in the context of death and mortuary rituals in Kyrgyzstan. More particularly, I will take a point of departure in the reflections of two women who experience themselves as marginal to community and the moral values that guide it – one who is struggling to free herself from what she feels are the snaring bonds of community, resisting the burden of its care – and one who, in her old age, although she devoted her life to the care of others finds herself alone with the ghosts of the past.

The paper is based on ongoing research for the larger research projects “Ethics after Individualism: Phenomenological Explorations of Moral Community” https://projects.au.dk/ethicsafterindividualism/ and Aging as Human Condition: Radical Uncertainty and the Search for a Good (Old) Life http://projects.au.dk/thegoodoldlife/

About the lecturer

Dr. Maria E. Louw is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, at Aarhus University.

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


Please note that the seminar will be held on WEDNESDAY (and not as usual on a Thursday)