Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Anthropology and Environment Society
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Technology
Secondary Theme: Materiality
One of anthropology’s crucial epistemic contributions has been to let wonder proliferate as a disposition towards the world. Scholars have attended to how wonder seeps through our interlocutors worlds. They have also opened up wonder as a space from which to think anthropologically, while acknowledging wonder’s colonial legacies. Wonder is an affective register, mixing enchantment and awe with uncertainty and fear. Wonder enables curiosity about other worlds. Wonder is passion and thing, mood and object. This panel opens up wonder for critical and sympathetic exploration in order to stretch its conceptual purchase. That is, rather than highlighting what the papers share in their understanding of wonder we want to focus on the new corners and dimensions each contribution illuminates. We focus our attention on how this simultaneously pre-modern, modern, and a-modern concept can be stretched in the present. The panel brings together scientific instruments, sonic inscriptions, legal typologies, worldly thoughts, and modulating transformations to explore anew the conceptual reach of a fraught and exciting concept. To do so the contributions in this panel ask:
• What are the affordances and risks of an anthropological practice from wonder?
• How do we think and write in ways that maintain curiosity and a sense of wonder about emergent worlds in times of profound loss?
• What is the relationship between loss and wonder?
• How does wonder figure in the search for worlds in potentia?
• How can we attend to the dark side of wonder?
• How do we thrive in wonder while avoiding its fetishizing?
• What kinds of tricksters, border crossers, and future-makers do we discover when we remain open to wonder?