From: "Bruce Grant" <[log in to unmask]>
The Society for Cultural Anthropology announces its upcoming,
biannual spring meeting, on "Sovereignty." Panels, Plenaries,
and Workshops to be held at the historic Governor Hotel, in Portland,
Oregon, April 30 and May 1, 2004.
Inviting multiple panel formats, SCA conferences are distinguished
by their relatively small size and intensive intellectual forums.
This year, featured speakers in organized plenaries and workshops
Ana Alonso, Veena Das, James Ferguson, Joe Masco, Saba Mahmood,
Bill Maurer, Elizabeth Povinelli, and Kath Weston. The David
Schneider Memorial Lecture will be given by Mahmood Mamdani,
with Paulla Ebron and Donald Moore as discussants.
The deadline for individual paper and panel proposals is December
--Bruce Grant and Lisa Rofel, Program Chairs
It is commonplace to remark that globalization everyday rewrites
the bounds of politics, persons, and nature. As scholars we are
left to track and understand, necessarily, the artefacts of these
continual remakings--the borders, the lines, and the contours of constantly
morphing political orders and social structures. But more rarely
do we find interrogations of the very thresholds of political
order itself--the rules of governance that constitute bodies, places,
the forces that shift these definitions across cultural logics
Inviting the most compelling inquiries into emergent sovereignties
today, the SCA Spring 2004 meeting looks to provoke discussion
on social orders new and old.
Etymologies tell us that "sovereign," from the popular Latin,
superanus, marks the state of the sublime, the sacred on earth,
the above, but not quite. Over the last decade, scholars have
pressed at the limits of this mobile definition, with its mix
of divine promise and mortal panic. The sovereign has the power
to name, to mark reality, to establish coin, to be the equivalence
by which value is made. But the union of reason, capital, and
violence that normally endows sovereign power is hardly economical.
Sovereign markers create exceptions and emergencies which exist
both inside and outside of that power. Sovereign markers excel,
stand out, exceed, and overwhelm. What are their premises, and
what are their after-effects? In what sense might sovereign power
become a spectral presence whose mimesis links it to powerful
forgeries? When ideas of the sacred are entwined with sovereign
power, and life itself becomes the sacred terrain for forms of
catastrophic regimes can emerge in the name of protecting "bare"
life. Debates about the legal ambiguities built into sovereignty,
in turn, raise questions about the violence afforded the modern state
toward its own citizens. But what of the potential disruptions
to this uneasy coherence of sovereignty and internal governance?
How are distinctive sovereignties differently localized or articulated
in relation to one another? How do the universalizing premises
of scholarship and politics of sovereignty get mobilized to travel
across differences, even as they are in constant reformulation
through those very encounters?
Among the themes invited for individual paper and panel proposals
are the intersections of power in places, bodies, and orders;
divinities; organized and disorganized religions; new imperialisms
and new NGO humanisms; the power to name; the making of rules
and the exceptions to rule; law, fear, and violence; security
and secrecy; the exclusions and inclusions of citizenship and
censorship; genders, sexualities, and the theory of rights; queering
sovereign realms; the implausibilities and excesses that underscore
power in its parodic realisms; coin, currency, value and the
transcendence of nation-state idioms in global markets; scientific
imaginaries and the rule of knowledge; spaces, boundaries,
and the markings of the deterritorial. In these contexts, we
ask where anthropology makes its voices in these conversations,
and what methods we take to better do our work.
For information and registration, go online at the SCA website:
Recognizing that SCA has the largest number of graduate student
members of any section in the AAA, fifteen travel stipends of
$100 will be awarded competitively to students and independent
scholars to help defray costs of travel. The deadline for all
proposals and stipend applications is December 15, 2003.