ASA Conference 2018: Creative Bodies

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ASA2018, 18-21 September
The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University


The human body has long been recognized as a site where the biological, social, and the material converge. Bodies are creative in the sense that they not only grow and reproduce other bodies, but through performances and gestures, they inscribe, manipulate, and communicate ethnicity and gender, health and sickness, vulnerability and resistance. At the same time, bodies remain sites for the production of inequality and alterity. Proliferating images represent and mediate bodily experiences in diverse ways, and bodies are increasingly mobile, distributed, and virtual. Furthermore, developments in technologies – whether applied to bodies before birth, in life, or after death – are recreating both human physicality and the ways in which it is possible to imagine it.
We invite panels to explore questions relating to bodies, their materiality, and their imagined dimensions. How are imaginative processes grounded in embodied action, and how are bodies enmeshed in wider social and ecological relationships? How are shifting relations between the human and the non-human affecting bodies, and indeed redefining the 'human'?

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Keynote speaker: Anna Grimshaw

Anna Grimshaw teaches anthropology at Emory University. She is the author of The Ethnographer's Eye and co-author of Observational Cinema. Her films, Mr Coperthwaite: A Life in the Maine Woods and At Low Tide are distributed by Berkeley Media and the Royal Anthropological Institute. For more information, click here.

ASA2018 keynote lecture: The Light of the Piece: An Exploration of Materiality and Creative Practice in a Maine Landscape

In this presentation, I will screen a short film in order to raise questions about how the medium can be used to explore embodied practice within a material landscape. How might anthropologists work with image, sound and movement to explore the creative body and how might the medium render imaginative dimensions of experience? What does a filmic engagement ask of subjects, audiences, and, crucially, the anthropological filmmaker herself?


The Call for Papers is now closed. Registration for the conference will open on 4 June. Please see the conference registration website here.