Call for Projects:”Artyfacts of Ethnography”

Call for Projects – “Artyfacts” of Ethnography: Art and Anthropology in Conversation
Wednesday April 19, 2017: Johns Hopkins University

A workshop by the Johns Hopkins Department of Anthropology, with Invited Speaker Michael Taussig, Columbia University

We warmly invite scholars and artists to participate in a workshop designed to foster productive exchange that can help to understand and address socially salient issues. By providing this venue for the presentation and critical engagement with creative works of art, design, and scholarship, we hope to highlight the work of art as more than just material for analysis, but rather, as a process, with its own critical methods. Such methods provide powerful insights into many aspects of human experience and unique ways to address the complex social challenges before us. Intellectually, the workshop draws on recent intersections between art and anthropology such as the “ethnographic turn” in art and the increasing importance of human-centeredness in design and creativity. We hope that this workshop leads to further ongoing collaboration that can bring the creative and experimental potential of the arts into academic practice, and visa-versa.

Themes for reflection include such questions as:

  • What kinds of social worlds are produced and deployed by artistic projects?
  • How can we conceptualize the “presentness” of art by interlinking concepts such as aura, ephemerality, material, and vibrancy?
  • What insights can be gained by engaging concepts of mediation and immediacy?
  • What “hybrid” mediums, such as the photo-essay, are available to anthropology and what does each axis (photo, text, etc.) bring to the fore?
  • Is there a relationship between performance art and the anthropological study of performance? Can the object of anthropology be the subject of art? In what way is anthropology in itself, performative?
  • Can we draw analogies between study design and artistic design, writing process and creative production, research proposal and artistic vision?

The workshop will be organized around two workshop panels and with our invited speaker, Michael Taussig, the Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. We invite projects of diverse formats and media, whether as paper presentations, photo-essays, experimental writing, poetry, mixed-media art, or film, among other possibilities. We invite students, faculty, artists and art collectives from across disciplines to apply.

Please submit abstracts and project descriptions of no more than 300 words to by March 1 2017 at 11:59 p.m.

The workshop is being organized by graduate students at the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Visit the event website.