SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology in London Conference 2012 - Certainty?

Various Speakers

Date: 11 June 2012Time: 12:00 AM

Venue: UCL Room: Archaeology Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

The theme for Anthropology in London 2012 was Certainty?
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The Opening Plenary speakers were Richard Fardon (SOAS) on ‘Trials and Convictions’, and Jean La Fontaine (LSE) on ‘Uncertainty and Open Minds'.

Current world events reinforce the view of a world in violent flux, crises and doubt. Indeed, uncertainty is taken increasingly as the starting point for anthropology’s study of identity, meaning-making and life strategizing.

But what if we were to ground our ethnographic approach and anthropological analyses, at least in part, in some concept of ‘certainty’? How might this uncover new approaches to our subject and extend our methodologies and analytical frameworks? How might ‘certainty’ inform or inspire alternative readings of our data and a critical rethinking of contemporary theories? What productive contributions might these make to the discipline, and to the social sciences and humanities more generally?  Ultimately, to what extent is ‘certainty’ a viable starting point for 21st-century anthropology?

Organised by UCL and University of East London in collaboration with Brunel University, SOAS, Goldsmiths and LSE