08 May 2006

Migratory practices: call for abstracts

Call for abstracts

Migratory Practices: exchanges between anthropology, art, craft and design

5th – 6th September 2006, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom

Symposium outline and aims
This symposium aims to bring together artists, makers and academics engaged in ethnographic study and cultural investigation. Over the course of two days we will explore the relationships between anthropology, art, craft and design practices. Presentations are invited on topics related to the areas outlined below. Contributions in the form of academic papers, artists’ talks or other formats (please specify) are welcomed.

Extending the debate
A dialogue between contemporary art and anthropology has emerged over the last ten years. Has craft and design practice been equally involved in this and if so, has it had to transform to embrace social agendas and action in the field? Are there differences in the ways that art, craft and design have drawn on and been drawn to anthropology, and vice versa? What can we learn from asymmetries of involvement between the different practices?

Making and ethnography
Cross cultural study has been a consistent feature of many makers’ practice since at least the late nineteenth century, but this activity has had little critical acknowledgement. When makers study culture can their research be thought of as a kind of ethnography and on what basis can this be decided? For example, can a ceramic piece convey ethnographic knowledge in itself, rather than as a means to the production of more conventional forms of knowledge, such as text?

The use of the term ‘field work’ has become a phrase applied to contemporary artistic practice. This seems to align it to traditions of empirical research and taxonomy in the sciences. Is this term adequate to indicate what artists - and anthropologists - are doing ‘in the field’? How do the processes of representation, presentation and analysis of field notes differ between contemporary artistic practice and contemporary anthropological approaches to fieldwork?

The ethics of anthropological and artistic production
Anthropological practice has been concerned with evolving a methodology that is ethical. This may appear to differ from some artistic practice in which methods are used to expose issues through mechanisms that in themselves appear unscrupulous. Does this also apply contemporary craft and design practices? Does an apparent difference between anthropology and artistic/craft practice create a polarisation that frustrates any hope of inter-disciplinarity?

Details of abstracts and deadline
Presentation slots will be 45 minutes followed by a discussion. Abstracts should not exceed 400 words (you may include appropriate images in addition to text)

The abstract should include the following information:
- title of paper
- presentation format
- conference topic to which it relates
- author’s name and affiliation
- contact information (address and e-mail)
- short CV (not exceeding 125 words)

Symposium conveners: Dr. Jane Webb and Dr. Amanda Ravetz
Please send the abstract (in an MS word file format) by e-mail to j.webb@mmu.ac.uk
by May 31st 2006.
Further information can be obtained from j.webb@ mmu.ac.uk

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