[URBANTH-L] Collaboration - Consortium on Human Rights and Expressive Culture

Consortium Human Rights chreculture at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 17:19:38 EDT 2009

The following project involves interdisciplinary scholarship.  We
invite anthropological researchers to participate, especially those with an
interest in expressive culture. Please see the
contact information below if you are interested.

Portia Seddon

The Consortium on Human Rights and Expressive Culture is a research
initiative aimed at assessing the place of anthropology – especially
the anthropology of music, dance, art, or other expressive media – in
activating social change and resolving human rights issues and
international conflicts.

The importance of development, globalization, ethno-national
conflicts, and human rights to contemporary anthropology has revealed
itself in the recent theoretical and methodological concerns of
scholars and researchers. Especially within the context of
contemporary wars, anthropologists struggle with ethical concerns due
to the strategic and political weight of anthropological knowledge in
foreign policy. The Consortium will address these concerns within the
study of expressive culture (i.e. ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology,
food studies, etc.) and attempt to refine current theory and
methodology in order to answer such central questions as:

1. How does the study of expressive culture impact our understanding
of contemporary issues such as development, globalization,
ethno-national conflicts, and human rights, especially in conflict

2. How can ethnographic fieldwork methods affect the way in which both
academia and the public see warfare and violence?

3. What is the role of expressive media in shaping nationalist
movements and defining geopolitical space?

4. What is the place of expressive culture for communities in flux
(i.e. migrants to urban areas, refugee populations, ethno-national

5. How can expressive culture act as a mediating device in conflict
zones and during periods of political unrest?

Students and scholars are invited to contribute to the Consortium
through participation in study groups, workshops, online discussions,
and monthly meetings, which will culminate in a symposium to be held
in 2010 at CUNY Hunter College. For further information, or to submit
a statement of interest, send an email to chreculture at gmail.com or
visit www.chreculture.blogspot.com.

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