The main goal of our conference is to analyze the practices of anthropologists in today’s world, namely, the ways in which the knowledge of anthropologists is being used and utilized in various organizations.
The 1st day – Role of Anthropology in Politics – would concentrate on the historic and contemporary roles of anthropology in politics (politics being understood in the broadest sense, including all spheres of public and political life the anthropologists were/are involved in). We would like to investigate what do anthropologists do, who and how uses them, how is the gained knowledge interpreted and what sorts of results come out of such a collaboration. We would also like to include in this topic the historic role of anthropology, for example in the colonial discourse (or possibly other ”mistakes” anthropologists did or are still doing). In general, the first day would then concentrate on the relations of power, on the anthropological actions and practices and the usage of their work.
On the 2nd day – Influences on Anthropological Practice – Critical Analysis – we thought of having a sort of an auto-critical analysis of our own works. We would like to ask MASNers to critically analyse their own works in order to see and detect the influences that can be found in the works of young anthropologists today. More specifically, we are interested in exploring postmodernism as the prevalent background to contemporary research theories and practices. In analysing our works, we would like to see exactly how dominant the postmodern discourse is, how the post-theories influence our perception of reality, how they are used in current cultural and/or other socio-economical problems and in our own production, and whether there are any other contemporary theories that are part of our motivations, practices and conclusions. The work we give as an example is of course ”Writing Culture”; so in a similar way, we think it would be interesting to analyse what we have achieved with our work, what has changed because of it and so on.
The 3rd day – Anthropology and NGOs – is a sort of a synthesis of the first two days. We would like to deal with the relationship between anthropology and politics on the example of NGO-s and similar non-profit and civil society organizations. This could be done by exploring the reasons and contexts in which NGOs came to be, why we need them, what they do, do they act according to their mission statement, who supports them financially… We especially encourage students who have some personal experience of working with/in and NGO or have conducted research on them to share their experiences with us. Another interesting point would be to discuss MASN itself, considering that it is a non-profit organization, but specific exactly because of its members – anthropologists. Seeing that MASN is something we all definitely have in common, we see a potential for some good discussions here as well.