Anthropology Seminar Series Speaker invited by Knowing From the Inside Project to talk about their project related research:- Dr Jennifer Clarke is a postdoctoral research with the Knowing From The Inside Project, University of Aberdeen
This project is a research theme related to the KFI project.
Acts of Deferral? Paraethnography and art in ‘post apocalyptic’ Japan
Jennifer Clarke (University of Aberdeen)
This paper, a work in progress, will discuss an approach to doing anthropology through art in the context of a post ‘apocalyptic’ Japan, in the wake of the Great Easter Japan Earthquake in 2011. Here, art is understood to be ‘on speaking terms’ with social research, and the work of art approached as a work of translation, rather than of representation. Relating a series of pivotal relationships with women – artists, curators and translators – with whom I worked, and the making of exhibitions and artworks, the paper in part considers to what extent these could be understood in terms of ‘paraethnography’.
Ultimately this has been an effort to explore alternatives to the dominant and often paralysing discourses of disaster. The paper will therefore situate this work via a theorisation of an ‘apocalyptic sublime’, grappling with notions of excess in relation to forms of knowledge, and ways of witnessing. This is an attempt to engage questions that may be considered metaphysical as well as methodologically experimental, in doing so the hope is to make a modest contribution to contemporary anthropology’s speculative endeavours: engaged, creative practices that go beyond the documentation of existing realities. By ‘acts of deferral’, I mean to imply both senses of the word: first, a diffuse ‘deferral of reality’ regarding the disaster, and second, deference to the subjects/objects of anthropology.
Room F61, Edward Wright Building, 3.00-5.00 p.m.