ANTHROPOLOGIES TODAY AND OUR (UN)CERTAINTIES, Séminaire du LADEC 2017-2018
These are uncertain times. We may be witnessing an epochal change provoked by transformations of the world capitalist system (the rise of China to the system’s center, for instance) and by the hegemony of electronic-computer capitalism. Anthropologists and other social scientists face new challenges as interethnic segmentations and the relationships among glocales change, igniting old and new racisms. It seems we are entering a post-multicultural era. The social media change the relationships between private and public spaces, causing several impacts on the modes of doing politics and on the polarization of current political life. At the same time, the anthropocene metaphorizes the negative and unsustainable effects of the human experience after the Industrial Revolution. In many countries, the social sciences and suffer budgetary cutbacks and lose their public relevance in milieus dominated by post-truths and rightist anti-intellectualism. Internet’s capillarity makes the world seem transparent and the intelligentsia meaningless. An increased and globalized audit culture as well as academic hyper-specialization have also contributed to a loss of public visibility. There is an urgent need to rethink our positionalities, subjects and politics of visibility. Anthropologists have been interested, in different ways, in intervening with their knowledge and research in how the future unfolds. I will claim that thinking on a global scale is both one way out of our current political conundrums and of regaining public visibility and influence. I will also argue that anthropologists need to engage in utopian struggles in order to foster visions that may have progressive impacts on contemporary political and social agents.