Introduction: Disciplinary cartographies and connectors
This special section explores and problematises the disciplinary boundaries of European anthropology by studying the shifting conditions of our work and changing centres of gravity in the field. The contributors have been invited to think about what the concept of “European anthropology” brings actually to the fore, while working in a context of changing epistemic relations, labour conditions, institutional assessment and claims to disciplinary validity. This set of papers and commentaries proposes to approach European anthropology as a specific kind of relation between localities and practitioners, not an essence. Polemically, we argue that European anthropology does not exist as a single, easy to define entity precisely because it exceeds its conditions of possibility and goes beyond geographic relations and separations. Additionally, we pose as problematic not only the conjunction of the adjective European and the noun anthropology, but also the separate standing of each of them and what kinds of relations are established as a result (possession, placing, aspiration, rejection and so on). We conclude that a key feature characterising European anthropology is its transnational character – multiplying the relations with what has been traditionally considered non-anthropological and non-European, and troubling of the boundaries of the discipline.
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