[URBANTH-L]CFP: Workshop: "Social movements: ethnographic approaches"

Alexander Koensler akoen_01 at uni-muenster.de
Thu Apr 16 10:37:51 EDT 2009

Engaged voices? Ethnographic approaches toward social movements

Workshop at the Institute
for Folklore/European Ethnology,
University of Münster, Monday, 27/07/2009



In his recent volume on social movements (2005), Social Movements. An
Anthropological Reader, June Nash states that:

«(a)nthropologists who once ignored the intrusion of national and
international in their field, are now among the principal observers of social
movements (...). Although the potential of these movements is often
underestimated, it is in these circuits once considered marginal to global
processes that the major changes occurring. Because of their cultivated
peripherical vision, anthropologists are in a position to assess new

The workshop aims to take up this methodological challenge and to bring
together different scholars interested in accounts and experiences of
ethnographic research about social movements by pointing to discuss the
specific role and potential of qualitative approaches. Thus, possible
questions may be:

► How can we extend classical fieldwork methodologies in order to understand
movements situated in a complex woven field of wider flows?
► How negotiate movements of indigenous people, national minorities and/or
other emerging collective actors their processes of identity formation? How do
they extend the limits of what seems "thinkable"?
► How are changing collective solidarities of movements the relationship with
national and international actors?
► How analyse ethnographers the cultural dimension of more recent forms of
activism such as media- and internet activism?
► How can historical perspectives on collective action apply qualitative
► How distinguish researchers the "categories of practices" employed by
activists from those of academic analysis? How position scholars themselves
toward activists?
► From which reliable sources can we create common theoretical frameworks? For
example, how can we apply reflections on the cultural dimension of collective
action in "new movements" theories?

Deadline and Organization:

We invite all interested (graduate- and non) scholars to propose an oral
and/or visual presentation of 30 minutes each. An abstract of 200-250 words
should be submitted until 20/05/2009 to Amalia Rossi (University “Bicocca”,
Milan) at amalia.rossi79 at gmail.com or Alexander Koensler (University of
Münster) at koensler at unisi.it. Notification and the final program will be
communicated by 10/06/2009. The language of the workshop will be English. For
further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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