Last year I joined the Nordic Network for Amerindian Studies and particpated in their first conference, held in Copenhagen. That conference focused on cosmology and my presentation focused quite a lot on more materialist perspectives of cosmology. I should perhaps have waited until this year since the theme now is “Getting Back to Matter.” I have to see what my contribution will be but I guess I make a new interpretation of the causeways or the caves in the Cochuah region. For those interested, and not part of this network already, here is some information:
The Nordic Network for Amerindian Studies convenes its 2009 international conference with the theme of Matter. Striving to ‘get back to matter,’ we want to explore new approaches to the ways in which humans are actively involved with material substances, be it through practices of production or appropriation of resources to satisfy needs ranging from nutrition to exploitation of cultural creativity for commercial purposes.
Scholarly interest over the past few decades has been overwhelmingly focused on the mental realities of Amerindian cultures, symbolic interaction, principles of thought, representations, cosmologies, identities, or the emblematics of landscape and language. As the 21st century is taking shape, political trends in the Americas are changing toward democratization, public participation, and efforts to overcome poverty and marginalization of large sectors of the population, including Amerindian groups. In academia a renewed focus on the basic conditions of survival and engagement with the surroundings is emerging, reflecting at the same time global economic, environmental, and ethical concerns.
‘Getting back to Matter’ brings together anthropology and archaeology in an effort to explore the relations between human beings and the environments they inhabit and consider, on the level of practice, the employment of embodied skills of perception and action within the contexts of Amerindian development. The concerns with practice include reconsiderations of the ethical practices of anthropology and archaeology in their relations with Amerindian populations.
The following keynote speakers have accepted the invitation thus far:
Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.
Ingold’s work links the themes of environmental perception and skilled practice within a relational approach focusing on the growth of embodied skills of perception and action within social and environmental contexts of development.
William R. Leonard, Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
His research foci include biological anthropology, adaptability, nutrition and energetics among contemporary and prehistoric indigenous agricultural groups in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
The conference will take place at the University of Copenhagen, Humanities Campus.
The deadline for abstracts is September 1st 2009.
Complete papers should be submitted to the coordinator before November 15th 2009.
For further information contact the Network coordinator
Hanne Veber, Ph.D., senior researcher
American Indian Languages and Cultures Section
Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. ToRS
University of Copenhagen
Artillerivej 86, 0.13
DK-2300 Copenhagen S