2nd Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists Greece
“Anthropology, Ethnography in/for uncertain times.”
You are warmly invited to the 2nd Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists Greece (SKAE). The Conference focuses on the uncertainty of contemporary times, as this arises in social and political issues concerning every aspect of the human life. Uncertainty is of interest not as a new or extraordinary concept, but because through a series of unrelated events uncertainty is slowly yet steadily turning into a new kind of commonplace. Uncertainty is all around us and defines social and political life in its global as well as less centralised aspects. The nuclear accident in Fukushima, the Covid-19 pandemic, the debt crisis that stigmatised Europe for the past decade, the ongoing environmental crisis, the conflict and belligerency in Syria, Libya and recently Ukraine – in the heart of Europe –, the violent change of regimes in Africa, the proliferation of the radical right internationally, although these appear to be isolated events, in fact they deepen cultural time, accelerate political developments, and further intensify the possibility of a subsequent crisis.
The anthropological critical gaze can be permeating through its effective contribution, highlighting social problems, tracing their causes and the results they generate. In what ways can we inform new policies, new alternative practices, new visions? The Conference invites all those who work and collaborate in the ways of the anthropological thought and ethnographic method to participate in this critical investigation of uncertainty and its multiplicity. In what ways can we listen to, analyse and understand uncertainty?
Through ethnography different cultural temporalities have emerged helping us to conceive the linear and progressive future. Today, commenting on ethnography in the post-Covid era, Marilyn Strathern wonders how social anthropologists can reactivate ethnography in ways that decentralise this horizon of uncertainty and record the new connections, feelings, thoughts, and practices that favour compromise and resilient relationships. Ethnography is (re)emerging as a rich methodological tool characteristic both for the breadth and depth provided by social research.
How does Anthropology contribute to understanding the uncertain times we live in? How can ethnography record them, describe them in their polyphonic expression, and engage with them critically and creatively? How can the debate about the future of ethnography itself, the horizon of which has long before exceeded the limits of anthropological thought, become as inclusive as possible? How open is anthropology today to receiving input from other theoretical thoughts?
The Conference invites participation from different scientific fields. With ethnography as a guiding principle, it seeks to develop an expanded range of theoretical issues and methodological practices in order to shed light to new perspectives and collaborations in a disorganising world. The 2nd Conference of SKAE aspires to become a meeting place for anthropologists – and beyond – who work in various industries and fields, inside and outside the academic community, from Greece but also abroad, and who make use of ethnography or /and anthropological thinking in their work and everyday life. We particularly welcome early career researchers as well as colleagues from other academic disciplines who use ethnography as a methodological tool.
The Conference will take place in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, between 24-26 May 2024 and is jointly organised with the Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Folklore, and Social Anthropology in the School of History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Culture-Βorders-Gender Lab in the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia, and the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival (Ethnofest).
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
- Politics and governance
How does ethnography describe social transformations/discontinuities after the successive crises of recent years? In what ways do economic uncertainty and precariousness affect social practices, habits, relationships? How do new forms of political participation and governance envision the future? How does ethnography contribute critically to public debates and reflections?
How can anthropology bring to the fore the complexity of the migration experience? How do new or old types of migration shape new social relations? What are the challenges and limitations encountered by ethnography in the study of migration as a phenomenon – whether this encompasses the lived experiences of the migrant journey or immigration and border regimes?
- Gender & Sexuality
How does ethnography raise the embodied, gendered experience as well as violence? In what ways does ethnography participate in making visible different masculinities, femininities, and queer or trans experiences? How does the shift to neoconservatism and the alt-right bring back the heteronormative representations of the family and moral panics about the demographic problem? How do new technologies of reproduction shape new families and types of kinship? How do feminism and LGBTQI+ movements contribute to the emergence of new methodologies that enrich or complement ethnography? How does activism converse – or not – with anthropology?
How can ethnography study digital societies in all their aspects (forms of sociability, work, communication, etc.)? How are new forms of inclusion and/or exclusion taking shape? How does anthropology approach artificial intelligence and post-human forms of sociability and communication or art?
- Environment and sustainability
How does the environmental crisis shape the world around us? How are urban centers and regions affected? How can ethnography highlight the relationships of humans with non-human animals and the environment as these are formed in the Anthropocene, and how (and if) new ontologies of the human are produced in times of climatic instability?
How is ethnography shaped as a research method and writing genre in the post-Covid era? How do the reduced resources and funds for research bring new practices and a new understanding of ethnography to the fore? How does social anthropology converse with the ways ethnography is used by other disciplines or the arts?
The 2nd Conference of SKAE will be held in person with the possibility of a limited number of digital panels. The working languages of the Conference will be Greek and English, with the panels/workshops coordinators defining the language per session. Participation in the conference amounts to 50.00€ for non-SKAE members, 40.00€ for SKAE members, and 20.00€ for those not employed. Participants attending in person will also have the opportunity to register with SKAE during the Conference should they wish to do so. Finally, undergraduate students will participate free of charge.
Proposals for panels and workshops should be submitted by October 30, 2023 at email@example.com. Each proposal should include the names of the coordinators, their affiliations, title and abstract (300 words), and short bios (250 words) in one of the two working languages of the Conference. Moreover, it is necessary to include an extended description (400 words), either in Greek or in English, highlighting the relation of the proposed panel/workshop to the topics of the conference. For workshops, the limit of participants and the technical specifications of the room should be indicated.
Organizing Committee of the 2nd SKAE Conference
• George Angelopoulos, Department of History & Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
• Varelaki Falia, Department of Social Anthropology & History, University of the Aegean
• Deltsou Eleftheria, Dept. of History, Archeology & Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly
• Grigoriadou, Sofia, TWIXTlab, Dept of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Evi Despotopoulou, Department of Social Anthropology & History, University of the Aegean
• Zotali Voula, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Karathanasis Pausanias – Department of Social Anthropology & History, University of the Aegean
• Karambasis Rigas – Postgraduate student in Social Anthropology
• Dimitris Kataiftsis, Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia
• Yiannis Kyriakakis, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University
• Larisi Dafni, Department of Social Anthropology and History, University of the Aegean
• Bakalaki -Alexandra, Department of History & Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
• Pateraki Mimina, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University
• Athena Peglidou, Department of History & Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
• Petridou Angeliki – Min. PhD in Social Anthropology
• Probonas Pantelis, Dept of History, Archeology & Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly
• Eleni Sideri, Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia
• Triantafyllidis Savvas, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Christou Virginia, Dept. of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly
Scientific Committee of the 2nd SKAE Conference
• Athanasiou Athena, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Kostas Aivaliotis, Co-founder & Director Ethnofest
• Emilia Voulvouli, Dept of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia/ Hellenic Asylum Service
• Kostas Giannakopoulos, Dept of Social Anthropology & History, University of the Aegean
• Dimitra Gefou-Madianou, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Dimitris Dalakoglou, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije University Amsterdam
• Deltsou Eleftheria, Dept of History, Archeology & Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly
• Eleni Kotsira, Senior Social Researcher & Designated Safeguarding Lead, Alma Economics
• Kyriakopoulos Leandros, (ERC MUTE) IIE/National Research Foundation
• Manos Ioannis, Dept of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia
• Menegaki Maria, Dept.of Social Anthropology, Autonomous University of Barcelona
• Balatina Alexandra, Department of Ethnomusicology, Ionian University
• Panopoulos Panagiotis, Dept of Social Anthropology & History, University of the Aegean
• Papaelia Penelopi, Dept of History, Archeology & Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly
• Pateraki Mimina, School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University
• Athena Peglidou, Dept of History & Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
• Rakopoulos Theodoros, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo
• Katerina Rozakou, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Sideri Eleni, Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia
• Irini Toundasaki, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University
• Tsibiridou Fotini, Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia