[Extended Deadline] CFP: Bureaucracy as Practical Ethics: attending to moments of ethical problematization through ethnography


Panel to be submitted for the American Ethnological Society & Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Spring Meeting Chicago, Illinois April 11-13, 2013

A significant strain of scholarship on the anthropology of ethics suggests that, since the Enlightenment, ethical thought in the West has been reduced to sheer will to power. A key point of evidence for this claim has been the reliance on bureaucratic forms of administration, which are highlighted as examples of alienating “anti-politics” machines of indifference. This panel hopes to challenge that broad understanding of the role of ethical thought within the contemporary world by using sensitive ethnographic accounts of bureaucratic praxis to explore how ethical challenges are confronted across a variety of contexts. The goal is to use these accounts in order to open up a conversation in which anthropologists might more adequately attend to moments of ethical problematization; moments that offer concrete opportunity for ethical refiguration and, therefore, ethical thought within contemporary political forms.

If you are interested in participating in the panel, please email a proposed paper title and abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr. Kevin Karpiak (kkarpiak@emich.edu) by Tuesday, January 22nd.

[Update: Since the deadline to submit panel proposals has been moved back, I’ve decided to extend this as well: paper abstracts should now be submitted by Wednesday, February 13th.]

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