Dummies for Future

Edinburgh Social Anthropology runs a weekly seminar that serves as a venue to learn about cutting-edge research presented by colleagues in Edinburgh, the UK, and the world. Events are open to all.

The 2019/20 seminar series is organised under the concept of ‘Futureproofing Anthropology’. How does anthropological and social science research and teaching speak to the futures of our societies?

Spring 2020 Seminars

Fridays 15:00-17:00

Chrystal Macmillan Building Seminar Rooms 1&2

Autumn 2019 Seminars

Fridays 15:00-17:00

Chrystal Macmillan Building Seminar Rooms 1&2

Under the Tinfoil Hat:

Understanding Conspiracy in the Age of Populism

20 Sep 2019

Dr Paolo Heywood (University of Cambridge)

Dr Mathijs Pelkmans (LSE)

Ethnographic Non/Fictions

27 Sep 2019

Dr Laura Watts (University of Edinburgh); Professor Lisa Wynn (Macquarie University)

What is the relationship between ethnographic research and genres of fiction/non-fiction writing (from poetry and sci-fi to reportage, investigative journalism and biography)? We all know that ethnographic writing is inspired by non-ethnographic prose. We also know that writers of history, biography, fiction and creative non-fiction often work with the methods and the language of ethnography. What do these exchanges look like in practice? How can we learn from them?

Flip the Seminar!

04 Oct 2019

Social Anthropology community

This week, we turn our attention inward. Instead of learning from an external speaker, we map the research and teaching interests within our own department and explore where unexpected synergies may lie. Staff, students, and community of Edinburgh social anthropology are all welcome.

Watershed Logistics:

Encountering the Edges of Environmental Citizenship in Belize

11 Oct 2019

Dr Sophie Haines (University of Edinburgh)

Without Alibi:

Trauma and Complicity in California’s Mental Health Courts

18 Oct 2019

Dr Jessica Cooper (University of Edinburgh)

This week’s Friday Seminar is another opportunity to welcome a new colleague in Social Anthropology, Dr Jessica Cooper. Jessica joined us this September from Cornell University. She works at the intersection of medical, legal and political anthropology. Her research and teaching explores questions of poverty, race, and inequality; affect, care, and ethics; madness, psychoanalysis, and critical psychiatry; liberalism, punishment, and the state; critical theory; and ethnographic methods and modes of representation.

Blood Work: Book launch and discussion of Janet Carsten’s new ethnography of clinical laboratories in Malaysia

25 Oct 2019

Prof Janet Carsten; Dr Jacob Copeman; Prof Kath Weston; Dr Alice Street; Prof Richard Baxstrom (University of Edinburgh)

What is blood? How can we account for its enormous range of meanings and its extraordinary symbolic power? In Blood Work Janet Carsten traces the multiple meanings of blood as it moves from donors to labs, hospitals, and patients in Penang, Malaysia, tracking the interpersonal relations between lab staff and revealing how their work with blood reflects the social, cultural, and political dynamics of modern Malaysia. After the seminar an EdCMA drinks reception will be held in the CMB Foyer.

EdCMA Annual Lecture

Banking on DNA: the Ever-Expanding Horizon of Prenatal Genetic Testing and Reproductive Technology

08 Nov 2019

Professor Rayna Rapp (NYU)

Me, My Data, and I

15 Nov 2019

Dr Kevin Donovan; Dr Liz McFall; Dr Bettina Nissen (University of Edinburgh)

Hardly any aspect of our lives these days is not intermediated by data and digital entanglements. We explore what perspectives anthropology adds and what we can learn from sister disciplines to tackle a range of questions such as: How does our digital footprint affect our creditworthiness, or what we pay for health insurance? What might a feminist economic perspective of cryptocurrency look like? And how does blockchain prompt us to think differently about value?

Time of Kin and Time of Illness: Temporalities of Caring among Diabetes Patients and Families in Delhi

29 Nov 2019

Dr Emilija Zabiliute (University of Edinburgh)

Professor Lynn Jamieson (University of Edinburgh)

Stay tuned for details of further seminars, including:

* Future care, family, and the ageing society: Who cares about the ‘later life supply chain’?

* Automation, work, and labour: Why does AI discriminate against me?

* Future sinners: Will what’s good today be bad tomorrow?

* Heat and climate change: How does anthropology stay cool?

* The new gurus: Popular exemplars in a post-expert age

* Queering the future of anthropology: Beyond the straight and narrow

* A bigger brother: Is surveillance capitalism a new protection racket?

* Fierce flora, beyond rhizomes: Plants, extinction, and invasion

* The pursuit of happiness makes us anxious: Future anthropologies of minds and moods

* Anthropology off earth: Science fiction and science fact

For further information about these seminars, please contact Aaron Kappeler.