Digital Anthropology at 14th EASA Conference

In this post I am going to provide an overview about those panels at the 14th EASA Biennial Conference entitled “Anthropological legacies and human futures” (Milan, Italy, 20-23 July 2016) which deal with digital media technologies and related issues. This also offers some insight into digital anthropology related research in the European context which in many cases is closely connected with visual and media anthropology.
If you are interested to participate to one of those panels, please keep in mind that the deadline for paper abstract submissions is 15 February and that you have to be member of EASA.

Panels are listed in order of appearance on the conference website.

Producing and transmitting knowledge audio- and/or visually [VANEASA]

Beate Engelbrecht (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS)

Visual anthropologists explore economic, religious and other kinds of social processes audio-visually. They produce audio-visual documents, they analyse subject-generated ones and engage in collaborative projects. What do they contribute to the creation and transmission of anthropological knowledge?

Media anthropology’s legacies and concerns [Media Anthropology Network]

Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
John Postill (RMIT University)
Elisenda Ardèvol (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

The EASA Media Anthropology Network panel seeks to put fundamental concerns of media anthropology, such as the mediation of power, media related forms of production and consumption, the relationship between media and religion, and the mediation of knowledge, back into the centre of attention.

Technologies, bodies and identities on the move: Migration in the modern electronic technoscape

Karen Fog Olwig (University of Copenhagen)
Heather Horst (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Since Appadurai coined the term “technoscape” electronic technologies of communication and information have developed at a rapid pace. The panel examines how this complex technoscape of cell phones, social media, GPS-systems and biometric technologies shapes and is shaped by human movement.

Impact and localization of international knowledge regimes

Birgit Bräuchler (Monash University)
Sabine Mannitz (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt)

The panel looks at international knowledge regimes as they evolved around issues such as human rights, citizenship, indigeneity, peacebuilding, security or new media technologies. It puts a special focus on their national and local adoption and emerging hierarchies of knowledge and power.

Digital Media Cultures and Extreme Speech

Sahana Udupa (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Matti Pohjonen (Dublin City University (DCU))

The panel examines the significance of “extreme speech” in digital cultures across the world and its cultural, social and political implications.

Kinship – taking stock in the light of social media

Elisabetta Costa (British Institute at Ankara (BIAA))
Razvan Nicolescu (University College London)

The panel discusses the place of kinship in the light of the ways people create and maintain personal relationships and networks using social media. It explores kinship in direct juxtaposition with other networks such as ‘traditional’ friendship and ‘online’ only friendship.

Reassembling the visual: from visual legacies to digital futures [VANEASA]

Catarina Alves Costa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Roger Canals (University of Barcelona)

Since its beginnings, Anthropology has taken an interest in visuality. Still, this has not produced any unified field of research but rather a multiplicity of areas seen as disconnected. This panel welcomes researches aiming to integrate different aspects of the visual in anthropology.

The art of slowing down

Giulia Battaglia (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
Jasmin Kashanipour (University of Vienna)

Slowness needs protection” (Eriksen 2001). Yet, does anthropology encourage ‘slowness’ in its own practice? We encourage reflections around the neoliberal politics of speed and the notion of ‘slowing down’ as a useful practice to re-vitalise anthropological legacies towards a more engaging future.

The impact of images: knowledge, circulation and contested ways of seeing [VANEASA]

Helena Wulff (Stockholm University)
Thomas Fillitz (University of Vienna)

Building on the legacy of visual research in anthropology, this panel explores the explosion of images in social life from photographs to selfies, posters, the arts and hypermedia in relation to knowledge production, circulation and contestation including methods, the market, aesthetics and ethics.

Skilled Engagements [VANEASA]

Cristina Grasseni (Utrecht University)
Rupert Cox (Manchester University)

We explore the notion of ‘engagement’ in terms of the skilled application of the senses and of media, building on the ethnographic study of apprenticeship as a primary mode of ‘enskilment’. Papers should critically investigate technology and the evidential power of media making.

Public and Private Redrawn: Geosocial Sex and the Offline [ENQA]

Matthew McGuire (Cambridge)
Michael Connors Jackman (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

This panel will explore in a global context the reconstitution by geosocial cruising technologies of two sets of oppositions-online/offline and public/private- to deal with the co-constitution of sexual lifeworlds at the interface of geosociality and physicality.

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