Laboratories (Labs) at ASA18
The ASA2018 Laboratories programme
The Laboratories provides spaces and opportunities for participants to explore the conference themes in sessions that differ from panels comprising 20-minute papers. With more flexible formats, Laboratories potentially open up ways of doing anthropology that generate fresh insights, understandings or approaches. They can set up situations for introducing, developing and testing ideas, for collaboratively identifying, examining, and taking action on issues.
To address pressing and difficult concerns, anthropologists are increasingly doing their work in experimental modes, whether with film, video, photography, drawing, exhibitions, sound productions, performance or with written words. Indeed, many aspects of contemporary life and death that anthropologists seek to analyse demand critical re-evaluation and innovation in method, interpretation and presentation.
ASA2018 asks participants to consider a key question: if sociality, matter, and the imagination are reconsidered from multiple perspectives across the discipline, how might we renew and re-create anthropology? Alongside the conference panels, the Laboratories programme aims to engage with this question and to help stimulate wide-ranging debate around the conference sub-themes: language and imagination, creative bodies, environmental imaginations, transformation and time. How do social, material and imaginative dimensions of lived bodies and environments mesh, become separated or morph over time? How might anthropologists document and theorise these processes more effectively, and with sensitivity to the politics, ethics, affects and sensations entailed?
Laboratories are designed as interactive, reflexive sessions that prioritise exploration, rather than the discussion of already established research results. They can be used to tackle practical problems, to revaluate concepts and to find new theoretical directions. They can facilitate anthropological investigation of matters and entities ranging from the macro to the micro. Labs might turn attention to the generation and shaping of knowledge in practice, to the attunement of the senses, and to processes of sense-making. Whether concerned with possibilities and limitations in current anthropological method, theory, analysis, and styles of communication, Labs can provide space for addressing any aspect of our conference themes.
Lab convenors at ASA18 have devised sessions in experimental formats involving collaborative activities, using a range of media. The Labs will explore fermentation, narratives, movement, imaginative processes, drawing, photography, writing, design, sensory engagement with material objects, sound recording, performance, visual imaging, social media, display, art practice, the making of 3D forms, computational notebooks, filming, and editing.
Each Lab will be a 90-minute session unless otherwise arranged,
convened by individuals or collectives. Please see the abstracts and
dates/times/locations of all ASA18 labs here.
Labs cannot have named, pre-selected contributions the way panels have papers, but it is possible to limit the number of participants through pre-registration.