( pn62 )

Crossing of gazes. Renewing anthropological methods beyond epistemological boundaries


    Margarita Valdovinos


    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence


    France/Burkina Faso

    HUMA, Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town, South Africa

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

IUAES Affiliation: Theoretical Anthropology


Anthropological theories, methodology, relations of power, epistemologies, peripheries.


After the collapse of the British and French empires, new paradigms in anthropology imposed successive shifts on the discipline, resulting in innovative methodologies and epistemologies. Postmodernism reflected on language and positionality in anthropological writing (Said, 1989), while the "decolonizing generation" demanded a further reexamination of the coloniality of knowledge itself (Harrison, 1991; Allen & Jobson 2016). The interest of our panel begins when, as a result of these new paradigms, the anthropological focus became neither the "others" – as “native” anthropologists have shown, the "other" was never equivalent to the "native" (Narayan, 1993)– nor the authors of ethnographies, but the relational and ethical dilemmas that arise in the process of anthropological knowledge production. Viewed through such a relational lens, anthropology was more than ever a troubling field of inquiry: Whose questions, concepts, or methods were being used to produce knowledge, and about whom? What would it take to reverse the hegemony of anthropological theories and ethnographic practices? As anthropology struggles to move beyond its colonial/Eurocentric foundations, innovative and alternative methodologies explore the possibility of raising new questions and honing new conceptual tools to overcome epistemological impasses. Contemporary perspectives construct their own methodologies and epistemic propositions inspired by, among other things, the cultural practices of the so-called "others," resulting in a dazzling display of original and innovative methodologies for cultural research that manifest not only diverse expressions of theoretical creativity, but also regional historical configurations. For this panel, we invite all participants interested in exploring theories, categories and methods emerging from new and expanded territories of anthropology. We encourage submissions on different anthropological subfields and topics from scholars working in and from different geographies. We believe in the need for "Southern theories" (broadly defined) in anthropology, from Nyamnjoh's invitation to think Africa in terms of conviviality and incompleteness (Nyamnjoh, 2012: :63-92) to commitments to adopting culture specific research methods, as Wilson’s Amerindian’s (Wilson, 2008) and Tuhiwai Smith Maori’s (Tuhiwai Smith et al, 2019) approaches. And overall, beyond the geographical distribution of anthropological models, we hold on to the possibilities that arise from the crossing of gazes. Finally, this invitation is extended to applied and engaged anthropologies that empower communities to write their own histories and make significant inroads into universities in contexts where indigenous, marginalized, and colonized communities continue to be excluded from academic knowledge production.