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Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society 2019
together with Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Literature Society
Helsinki, August 28–30, 2019
See the final Panel Program here.
See the full list of abstracts here: FAS_2019_Abstracts
Academic Time Now
Is academic time out of joint? There is a sense that many of the delights of research are ever harder to enjoy because institutional and economic factors have squeezed out a key condition of rewarding academic labour, time. This panel invites contributions that explore current configurations of time and academic work.
Subtle transformations in temporal and labour regimes have attracted scholarly attention recently. How do the rhythms of audit culture connect with everyday academic lives? There have also been calls to “slow down” university work. In Another Science is Possible: A manifesto for slow science (2018), Isabel Stengers has even written of the need to slow down to avoid impending barbarism. She cites Alfred North Whitehead, for whom “the task of the University is the creation of the future, so far as rational thought, and civilised modes of appreciation, can affect the issue”. Indeed, future-talk of various kinds has entered intellectual discourse in the last few years, in part to do with threats to Earth systems – the Anthropocene. As universities play contradictory roles vis-à-vis such developments, scholarly, socio-economic and bodily desires increasingly clash – or do they?
Academics have personal experience of the issues. We can also think creatively about the less obvious forces shaping the connections between ways of reckoning time, doing research and hegemonic aspirations, for example for efficiency or economic growth. We may also challenge Stengers’ view. Contributions are invited from anthropologists and others, that reflect on their own practice, on the role of institutions or on student experiences, or any other aspect of the panel topic.
Eeva Berglund, Aalto University, eeva.berglund[a]aalto.fi
Matti Eräsaari, University of Helsinki, matti.erasaari[a]helsinki.fi
How does anthropology relate to its own failures, limits and fieldwork accidents?
This panel sets up to explore how failure can be also an asset during ethnographic research, becoming an element of learning and experimentation (Birla 2016). A failure, an accident, a breakdown, even a tragedy, is not an endpoint but a new beginning and a liminal point of assessment (Rosaldo 1989). Failures make evident the possibility of breakthrough and becoming something else, telling us about accidental findings, gaps, tricksters and hackers.
Failure can be understood not simply as a crisis, but also as a terrain of interstitiality (Ssorin-Chaikov 2016), and a window of opportunity characterised by potentiality (Latour 1996; Miyazaki and Riles 2005). Because we are impelled to avoid what is inefficient, distorted, out of the straight line (Sandage 2005; Ahmed 2006), current discourses about failure overlook how wasted time can be socially and culturally productive (Martínez 2018). Since failure provides space for thinking and self-assessment by interrupting the expected flow of things, an anthropological analysis of the contours and consequences of failure contribute to the discussions of temporality, both in research and “in the field”, presenting our experience of time as non-linear, non-cumulative, multi-dimensional.
Our panel welcomes ethnographic and auto-ethnographic papers reflecting on failure as an event, failure as time wasted, with a special focus on researching failure or failure in research.
Francisco Martínez, University of Helsinki, francisco.martinez[a]helsinki.fi
Maria Khachaturyan, University of Helsinki, maria.khachaturyan[a]helsinki.fi
Anthropologies, Futures and Prediction
The future is not what it once was. Technological, political, and infrastructural changes have all effected new ways, not only of imagining, but of predicting and realizing the future(s). This workshop seeks to locate itself at the intersection of the multiple ways in which the future is known and imagined, taking into account the dialectics between the researcher and the field. What exactly is the future? Do we distinguish, like Derrida, between a “predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable” future, and l’avenir—the unexpected and unanticipated? How do the temporalities of our fieldwork and our professional experience of uncertainty inform the way we produce knowledge about conceptions of future and prediction? And what of the contexts and extra-contexts in which the ethnographic emerges? Ranging from the online aggregation of predictive data to financial instruments and algorithms, state projects of governance based on prediction, to dreaming, death, and afterlives, to urban infrastructural planning, this panel, sponsored by EASA’s Network of Ethnographic Theory, asks how the future is part and parcel of what constitutes the social in all its utopic and dystopic forms. As part of EASA’s Network of Ethnographic Theory’s sponsorship, papers of this panel will be submitted as a special issue to Social Anthropology.
In addition to the usual panel format, as described above, we will have an additional session in which panelists are invited to engage the thematic of their own and their own ethnographic and theoretical interventions through alternative media forms, and amidst a more broader and inclusive discussion of “Anthropologies, Futures and Predictions.” Thus, we are interested in having panelists present papers in the first session, and have opportunities to show ethnographic film, audio, installation forms, and so forth, in the second.
Sonja Moghaddari, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, sonja.moghaddari[a]graduateinstitute.ch
Scott MacLochlainn, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, maclochlainn[a]mmg.mpg.de
Dialectics of History, Nostalgia and Futurabilities among China’s Others
This panel explores the dialectics of historicity and the plurality of spatiotemporal epistemologies at play in contemporary Sino-Other encounters. We locate the pragmatic, metaphorical, and material emergence of history, nostalgia, and futurability among contemporary Chinese subjects in their increasingly diverse encounters with local and foreign ‘others’ as well as intimate ‘selves’. In doing so, we try to understand the shifting grounds of these socio-temporal resources and their social, political, and cultural meanings in the context of China today.
With China experiencing a tightening grip over social remembering and forgetting, characterized by a ‘historical nihilism’ at its core, this panel seeks to critically explore the continuation of and construction of nostalgia and futurability through which historical narratives’ relationship or contiguity to the political is motivated or elided. We invite papers that study these relationships or contiguities as they unfold in an array of ethnographic contexts and encounters among ‘China’s Others’.
We refer to ‘China’s Others’ as a way highlighting the diversity of social constructions and tensions that complicate monolithic imaginaries of China that frequently render it a culturally, ethnically, and politically homogeneous ethnographic region. In doing so, we also take seriously China’s changing relationship to the worlds within and beyond it – a relationship where the stakes Chinese constructions of alterity and sameness, concerning both ‘selves’ and ‘others’, are becoming increasingly explicit.
Suvi Rautio, University of Helsinki, suvi.rautio[a]helsinki.fi
Jay Schutte, University of the Witwatersrand, xiangfei646[a]gmail.com
Xiao Ke, Duke University, xiao.ke[a]duke.edu
Distemporalities: Collisions, Insurrections and Reorientations in the Worlding of Time
As an orientational aid, time seems to be a matter par excellence of worlding: we sense time, we habituate and structure it, but it habituates and structures us just the same. Time suggests that we are in/past/against/toward something/someone/somewhere. As it worlds, time is (a referent) of positionality, subjectivity and sensation. It may make multifarious alliances with space, ideologies and bodily processes. Yet, ‘time’ is not necessarily something in and of itself. Delving into the plurality of time, anthropologists are increasingly recognising ‘time’ as a heuristic. So, if we accept that time and temporality are far from clear universals, then they can also be extrinsic to (temporal) worlds: they may come and operate from the outside of specific ontological bearings. The ‘external’ can restructure, reorient, unstructure, violate, merge with, or speak to existing ontological temporalities. It may insist on leaps from one time to another and on the obliteration of the ‘former’ time so that the ‘new’ could truly thrive.
Ideological projects seek to be constituted in the ontological – they map themselves into, or rather onto the ‘world’. In so doing, they grapple with time. In this panel, we seek to understand what happens to time-as-worlding when ‘worlds’ are suddenly or slowly temporally reoriented. Do the structures and senses of time break, suspend, retreat, resist, merge with new temporal orders? Do different times strive to forget each other? Are they subversive of one another? Or, do they smooth out each other’s edges?
We think of distemporalisation as a project of denial of time – a denial of historicity, futurity, or change, which is a noticeable element of various constructions of Otherness. We also take distemporality to signify a refusal of, and intervention into, qualitatively-specific temporal worlds. Such projects usually include a demand for a retemporalisation into another ‘world’. Potential contributions could, for example, think revolution, statehood and nationalism, colonialism and Empire, archives and their temporal violence, distemporalisation of subjectivity, gender regimes and their alterities, or worlding of economies of time.
Vanja Hamzić, SOAS University of London, vh1[a]soas.ac.uk
Safet HadžiMuhamedović, SOAS University of London, sh113[a]soas.ac.uk
Falling behind and catching up: urban (s)paces, temporal dilemmas and infrastructures in concert
Temporalities are recognized, experienced, made and unmade through interaction with the material world. Similarly, people’s moorings are anchored in the physical and affective materiality of the infrastructural, and so are their conceptions and expectations about present, past and future. Translated through idioms of ‘catching up’, ‘falling behind’ and notions of stillness and movement, spatio-temporal dissonances are, directly or indirectly, associated with infrastructural and technological apparatuses aimed at exploiting those dissonances by creating, managing or mitigating them.
The panel seeks to further debates that explore how time is shaped by the sensorial quality of urban landscapes and how it is recognised, experienced, resisted and transformed through the mundane, repeated, practised interaction with the material and infrastructural world.
We thus welcome paper proposals concerned with one or more of following questions:
- How do infrastructures and technologies regiment, speed up, slow down or halt paces/spaces of change, and the experience of modernity? How does infrastructural failure underscore the unrealised promise that accompanies the experience of those rhythms?
- How do these material interactions alter established understandings of the space-time of the everyday?
- What visions and narratives of presents, pasts and futures are represented, encapsulated, solicited by the materiality of (un)changing urban landscapes? What attachments, hopes and large-scale processes do those visions of times gone and coming reveal?
- What possibilities for political engagement and participation are produced by the quotidian interaction with the material and the infrastructural?
Patricia Scalco, University of Helsinki, patricia.scalco[a]helsinki.fi
Elisabeth Saleh, American University of Beirut, es48[a]aub.edu.lb
Alice Stefanelli, Durham University, alice.stefanelli29[a]gmail.com
Materiality, science, and technology – reflections on time
Temporalities, temporal orientations and time are inseparable, but often underanalysed, part of the study of materiality and matter. During the anthropocene, human impact over time on matter is undeniable, and yet but one example of the ways in which politics, ethics and matter intersect. The panel focuses on materiality, the liveliness of matter, that cannot be understood without the effects of time: how connections, infrastructures, or timescapes are shifting, and being shifted in science and technology. In the study of materiality, the knowledge that is produced about the time/matter nexus, and ‘how we know what we know’ is often the focal point of inquiries, which opens up intriguing possibilities for what we want to address and discuss in this panel. Recent discussions have addressed expectations, anticipations, future imaginaries, potentiality and temporalities; how these notions relate to the materialities encountered and engaged within our fieldworks will be discussed in this panel. We encourage presentations paying attention to materialities and temporalities, cycles as well as futures and pasts, in knowledge making practices, and the time and materiality that present themselves in the knowledge making we ourselves do as ethnographers. We welcome papers that present and discuss either empirical cases of material vitality (for example, but not limited to, changing views of microbes, decaying research infrastructures, politics around stem cells, loops in archeogenetic knowledge, paradigm shifts in knowledge etc) or reflect methodologically or theoretically the topic and scope of this panel.
Salla Sariola, University of Helsinki. salla.sariola[a]helsinki.fi
Heta Tarkkala, University of Helsinki. heta.tarkkala[a]helsinki.fi
Out of place, out of time? Rethinking liminality and stuckedness in experiences of migration
Many scholars in anthropology and other disciplines have emphasized how migrants’ lives have increasingly shifted from experiences of mobility to conditions of immobility (Carling, 2002; Salazar & Smart, 2011). Migration policies, deportability and racial discrimination can confine migrants in an existential and temporal condition of indefinite waiting, liminality and stuckedness (Hage, 2009; Willen, 2007). Scholars have often described this liminal condition as detrimental to one’s sense of security and wellbeing, or as a failure to become ‘incorporated’ and to fully belong (Allsopp, Chase, & Mitchell, 2014; Gonzales, Suárez-Orozco, & Dedios-Sanguineti, 2013; Sommers, 2012). In this panel, we seek to conceptualize and rethink the ways in which different temporal breaks and continuities affect migrants’ experiences of mobility and immobility, belonging and intimacy, in relation to the multiple factors and constraints shaping migrants’ possibilities of making a viable life. We particularly seek papers that draw on ethnographic engagements exploring migrants’ experiences of time that are in contrast, or misaligned, with the linear and progressive temporality of neoliberal societies – that is, the expected trajectories towards citizenship, social incorporation, and independence. For instance, how do migrants themselves understand dissonant experiences of time and emplacement? How do these understandings shape different experiences of (im)mobility and imaginations of possible futures? What kinds of temporalities are possible, or are hindered, in migration? And how are these influenced by policies, and neoliberal imaginations of a ‘good life’?
Allsopp, J., Chase, E., & Mitchell, M. (2014). The tactics of time and status: Young people’s experiences of building futures while subject to immigration control in Britain. Journal of Refugee Studies, 28(2), 163–182.
Carling, J. rgen. (2002). Migration in the age of involuntary immobility: theoretical reflections and Cape Verdean experiences. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 28(1), 5–42.
Gonzales, R. G., Suárez-Orozco, C., & Dedios-Sanguineti, M. C. (2013). No Place to Belong. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(8), 1174–1199. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764213487349
Hage, G. (2009). Waiting Out the Crisis: On Stuckedness and Governmentality. In G. Hage (Ed.), Waiting. Carlton South: Melbourne University Press.
Salazar, N. B., & Smart, A. (2011). Anthropological Takes on (Im)Mobility. Identities, 18(6), i–ix. https://doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2012.683674
Sommers, M. (2012). Stuck: Rwandan youth and the struggle for adulthood. University of Georgia Press.
Willen, S. S. (2007). Toward a Critical Phenomenology of “Illegality”: State Power, Criminalization, and Abjectivity among Undocumented Migrant Workers in Tel Aviv, Israel. International Migration, 45(3), 8–38. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2007.00409.x
Francesca Morra, Oxford Brookes University,
Francesca Meloni, Northumbria University, francesca.meloni[a]northumbria.ac.uk
Perhaps Another Time? The Trouble with Teleology
A number of scholars have suggested that a worldview based on linear progressive temporality is actually best understood as a Christian worldview. Such temporality bears similarities to Christian supercessionist theology, a form of periodization that emphasizes moments of rupture between the old and new, in which the new represents improvements over the old. Such improvements are expressed as development, forward movement, as solutions to a problem or as approaches to a telos or ultimate truth. This kind of thinking represents a mood of hope, at least for some. But such thinking can also be politically disabling. It can create a sensation of stultifying shock, freezing us in place when events in the world seem to be moving “backward” rather than forward. Such, for example, has been the astonishment expressed by liberal and progressive forces when political leadership around the world took a sharp turn to the right in the 1930s and again in the late 2010s. Drawing on such theorists as Gil Anidjar, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Johannes Fabian, and, Hayden White, this panel asks what other kinds of temporalities are available to us? It looks to ethnographic research to consider the cultural resources that can be drawn upon to think time differently, and the kinds of temporal models that might more accurately depict enduring political realities.
Joyce Dalsheim, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Joyce.Dalsheim[a]uncc.edu / joyce.dalsheim[a]gmail.com
Gregory Starrett, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Gregory.Starrett[a]uncc.edu
Presence of/in the past
This panel approaches the practices of social remembering by discussing the emplacement of time and the temporality of space – in other words, space-time. The purpose is to discuss, on the one hand, how people make sense of the ways the past is still present, lingering or called up when discussing the contemporary questions. On the other hand, the papers can examine, how people can be figuratively or even physically can dwell on the past milieus when recounting their history. What are the focal points in places and landscapes evoked? How are these related to lived space and forms of sociality? How is the past made close or distant from the perspective of the contemporary?
The papers assembled in this panel are urged to discuss the ambiguities and complexities of placemaking and of being in history by via the minutiae of practices and narratives by drawing from ethnographic fieldwork. The dynamics may reside in material foci, practices of placemaking, social interaction or embodied dispositions
Anna-Maria Tapaninen, University of Helsinki,
Projects and Project Temporalities: Timelines, Phases, Aftermaths
This panel seeks papers that draw on ethnographic research to interrogate the temporal logics of projects. The project form—an integrated approach to goal-oriented planning, resource allocation, and task coordination—arguably stands as one of the most pervasive political technologies of the contemporary world. At different scales and to different degrees, social worlds are touched by: government projects, development projects, activist projects, research projects, work projects, group projects, school projects, reform projects, pilot projects, and so on. Beyond their ubiquity, however, projects are also marked by timelines. In their typical manifestation, projects are meant expire once their goal has been achieved (or the money runs out). This panel thus encourages submissions that critically examine the social effects and political consequences of project-based existence. How do projects succeed (and fail) in regimenting the temporality of social life? What happens when the time management of projects intersects with, disrupts, or comes into conflict with, other social temporalities? And, what happens to social life in the wake of projects, for instance, when “temporary” inventions produce “permanent” realities, as when a refugee camp transforms into a slum? In considering these questions, the panel also seeks to reflect on the legacies of project logics within anthropological theory. For example, how do anthropological accounts of governmentality draw on and reproduce the logics and temporalities of projects? Thus, in contextualizing the temporal logics of projects alongside other social temporalities—those within, beside or that exceed projects—how might we expand an anthropological optics on politics in the present?
Andrew Graan, University of Helsinki, andrew.graan[a]helsinki.fi
Considering classic cases of modern time such as that of post office infrastructure and railways, Jon May and Nigel Thrift (2001) problematise its homogeneity by contrasting sheer seconds in which a telegram goes out flashing across the wires round the world with hours of walking or riding to the post office or railway station from the outlying villages of England in 1860s. They argue that coexisting speeds of movement reveal qualitatively different temporalities and relationships. What makes this difference palpable in the synchrony of these different forms of movement that are expressed in linear chronological time that contains both seconds and hours. In this panel, we propose to explore global capitalism that have generated time which once was conceptualised as ‘homogeneous and empty’ (Benedict Anderson) but which, as much of contemporary anthropology have demonstrated, integrates, reworks and sustains diverse and divergent temporalities. We invite paper proposals that address this temporal multiplicity from the point of view of how this multiplicity is organised and what are the relationships between different temporalities. We are particularly interested in the question if such relations are hierarchical and constitute temporal inequalities. What exactly is temporal inequality? How does it work within and between temporal regimes and coordinates? Is this inequality contested? Can we speak of temporal hegemonies? We call for ethnographic contributions that conceptualise cases of contradiction, tension and conflict between human and non-human temporalities as well as between the cultural logic of daily rhythms and meanings of work, local, indigenous, religious, and other temporalities, and global modalities of capitalism that coordinate time in different parts of the world through different technologies (including digital) and practices of banking, production and consumption.
Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov, National Research University Higher School of Economics in St.‑Petersburg, nssorinchaikov[a]hse.ru
Asya Karaseva, European University at St. Petersburg, akarasyova[a]eu.spb.ru
Maria Momzikova, University of Tartu & European University at St. Petersburg, mmomzikova[a]eu.spb.ru
Temporal perspectives on state formation and commodification on frontiers
The panel explores temporalities of state formation in the frontier areas where economies are growing rapidly at the expense of their natural environments. Frontiers are experiencing rapid transformations shaped by new dynamics involving investors from China and other countries. The pace of change is fast, with high-tech special economic zones, extractive mining and large-scale agro-industrial land concessions contributing to the complexities of state formation
These processes and especially their fast pace raise questions of about time. We welcome papers that explore the temporalities and temporal trajectories of state formation and commodification of nature. Panelists can explore the commodification of nature in relation to various “boom and bust” cycles, the temporal dynamics of frontiers that are opened, closed and often re-opened and how time figures in state formation and related corporate activity. Panelists can look at the long histories preceding current processes as well as the imaginations of and plans for the futures evoked by different actors.
Anu Lounela, University of Helsinki, anu.lounela[a]helsinki.fi
Tuomas Tammisto, University of Helsinki, tuomas.tammisto[a]helsinki.fi
Time and the Politics of Knowledge Production in Museum Work
This panel discusses temporality as a fundamental dimension of museum work. The special focus is on the political aspects of the meanings of time in knowledge production in museums and exhibitions. Museums deal with objects deriving from the past and work in museums requires contextualizing information that has been collected decades or even centuries ago. Our understanding and interpretations of history create the framework through which we make sense of exhibitions as well as individual objects, texts and images displayed in them. The increasing ethnic diversity of museum audiences, discussions on decoloniality, the rise of identity politics, and other social and cultural transformations have inspired, and forced, museums to rethink their own history, collections, and working methods.
We invite papers that explore, for example, the following questions: How objects that were collected in colonial settings, or originate from outside the Western cultural sphere, have been interpreted and explained in changing historical circumstances? How representations of people and cultures change, and who has the right to tell how they should change when “other cultures” and people considered as “others” become part or “our culture? How do these changes affect museum work and the role of museums as cultural institutions? How the questions of ownership or repatriation have been dealt with in different museums? What kind of strategies of rewriting the history – or present, or future – have emerged? How to present different meanings of temporality in museological presentations of cultures and social phenomena?
Anna Rastas, Tampere University, anna.rastas[a]tuni.fi
Leila Koivunen, University of Turku, leikoi[a]utu.fi
Time in touristic areas
Tourism is both bound up with yet a contradictory activity in terms of the concept of time. On the one hand, tourists often seek an idyllic past (or present) – unspoilt by modernity. On the other hand, contemporary tourists usually expect modern comforts and services during their trips. Tourism can be defined as a temporary liminal experience where “time stops” for the duration of one’s holiday. At the same time, the host communities live their everyday lives in those same locations – for them it is not a question of liminality. This panel seeks to investigate the understandings and potential contradictions related to time in touristic areas and in tourist encounters.
This panel welcomes papers which discuss, for example, the following themes: Do tourists view time differently by being located in different spaces away from home? Is time different for different tourists? For example, does time stop, slow down or speed up during a touristic experience? Is time measured differently by tourists–that is, through sensorial/affective experiences (ie watching the sunset on a beach), and/or rituals of eating, drinking and having fun? How is time conceptualised in the context of extreme tourist experiences or among long-term tourists? How do host communities experience the peak tourist seasons and the off-peak seasons? Do they hold different understandings of time from the tourists they cater to? Are these temporal understandings in contradiction with one another? Can “tourist time” be interrupted, and by which factors (e.g. political, social, or environmental)?
Mari Korpela, Tampere University, mari.korpela[a]tuni.fi
Pamila Gupta, WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand, pamila.gupta[a]wits.ac.za
The Time of Voluntary Isolation: Indigenous Peoples and the Politics of Temporality
In the world there are still over hundred indigenous groups living in so-called voluntary isolation. Most of them inhabit the Amazonian lowlands in South America. Their life ways are, however, becoming increasingly endangered and their situation creates friction and puzzlement among the groups themselves, between them and the dominant society and within different sectors of the dominant society. Time and temporality can be found to be part of these conundrums in multiple ways. The groups’ extinction is considered by many to be just a matter of time. There are debates and discussion about the historical duration of their isolation; their cultural stagnation; the cyclical nature of their nomadic life style, and; their understandings of time, for example. The recent debate concerning contact that has been swirling about these groups is not only about encounter but also about how indigenous histories are in colonialist thinking considered atemporal. This panel scrutinizes voluntary isolation and the debates surrounding it from the perspective of time and temporality. We invite contributors to examine from this viewpoint the different understandings of voluntary isolation and the consequent policies and politics related to it, the inter-relatedness and conflicts between the different understandings, and the challenges faced by anthropology to talk about voluntary isolation without falling to the traps of atemporalizing and ahistoricizing it and the indigenous subjects.
Minna Opas, University of Turku, minna.opas[a]utu.fi
Luis Felipe Torres, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, lufelipeis[a]gmail.com
Religion, Temporality, and Contemporary Ethical Self-Making
The study of ethics has been one of the emerging trends in recent anthropology. This panel approaches the topic by focusing on the role of religion and spirituality in constituting ethical lives. Many religions affirm ethics as the pursuit of virtues, rules, and habits that are distinct from the ethical issues of (secular) everyday life. In contemporary global situation, however, religion tends to intervene in secular domains in novel ways that allow performing one’s (religious) ethical values and choices in increasingly diverse contexts.
The panel brings together ethnographic case-studies of religiously/spiritually motivated ethical self-making in today’s era – when the idea of distinct religious and non-religious spaces and actions has become challenged. More specifically, we invite papers that scrutinize the temporal dimensions of such ethical self-making. To what extent are different conceptualizations of time present in the self-fashioning that builds on religious practices and beliefs? How do “past,” “present,” and “future” figure in these discourses, and how does the religious/secular divide relate to different temporalities? If understood as a process of “becoming,” does ethical self-making happen through making a sudden break with the past or does it rather take a shape of gradual spiritual progress? What is the relationship between the two temporal dimensions of an ethical practice – its experience in the present and its orientation towards the future? The panel invites also papers with other temporal angles, such as the relationship between spiritual and secular time, as well as the differences between religious and secular time management.
Toomas Gross, University of Helsinki, toomas.gross[a]helsinki.fi
Tea Virtanen, University of Helsinki, tea.virtanen[a]helsinki.fi
“Unfinished” time and desire in reproductive mobilities and trajectories
This panel draws on recent work in the anthropology of becoming (Biehl and Locke 2017) to consider the qualities of unfinishedness, the unknown, time, space, and desire as they relate to formations of reproduction in contemporary life. On the one hand, time is delineated in biological measurements and discourses, such as gestation, carrying babies “to term,” “timing” and “spacing” children, and fertility “cycles,” for example. On the other hand, time is abstracted in the forward-looking-ness of reproduction, captured in the concept of reproductive futurism. Within the growing body of scholarship on reproductive cross-border care, fertility tourism, commercial surrogacy, birth tourism, abortion travel, migrant and transnational motherhood, international adoption—that is, reproductive mobilities—the emphasis has tended to be on geographical movement from point A to B, or the outcome of the reproductive pursuit. What hasn’t yet been examined is the “unfinished business” of reproduction in the context of mobilities or, for that matter, immobilities, which an emphasis on time and becoming will open up. By considering an anthropology of becoming that “makes space for unfinishedness, and bodies, powers, and things [that] do not remain frozen in place” (Biehl and Locke 2017: 6), the papers in this panel will address time and trajectories of reproduction as related to subjectivity and as affective, material, and always incomplete.
Susan Frohlick, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Susan.frohlick[a]ubc.ca
Kelsey Marr, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Opiskelijapaneeli [student panel]
Opiskelijapaneeli on suunnattu kandi- tai maisterivaiheen antropologian opiskelijoille. He voivat pohjata esityksensä kandintyölleen tai tekeillä olevaan graduun. Konferenssipaneeli on tilaisuus, jossa kukin tilaisuuteen valittu osallistuja pitää n. 20 minuutin esitelmän. Paneelin keskustelukielenä on suomi. Kutakin esitelmää seuraa n. 15 minuutin tiivis keskustelu, jonka aikana myös yleisö voi esittää kysymyksiä puhujalle. Paneelin tarkoituksena on tarjota opiskelijoille mahdollisuus päästä esittelemään omaa tutkimustaan sekä tutustuttamaan heidät konferenssikäytäntöihin. Toivomme herättävämme keskustelua siitä, minkälaista antropologiaa suomalaiset opiskelijat tekevät ja minkälaisiin argumentteihin kandin- ja maisterintöillä pääsee. Konferenssin pääteemojen (aika, ajallisuus ja ajan kokemus, politiikka, kielellisyys jne.) lisäksi olemme kiinnostuneita muistakin aihepiireistä.
Eemi Nordström, University of Helsinki, eemi.nordstrom[a]helsinki.fi