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Berlin Anthropology Seminars (2): Liina Mustonen (University of Duisburg-Essen): In the Shadow of Colonialism. Studying up in the Middle East

15.11.2023 | 16:15 - 17:45
Liina Mustonen

Liina Mustonen

Lecture by Liina Mustonen (University of Duisburg-Essen) within the Berlin Anthropology Seminars

In the Shadow of Colonialism. Studying up in the Middle East

This talk highlights challenges related to the study of mobile elites in a formerly colonial context, in the Middle East. In particular, it draws on the author’s ethnographic fieldwork in two Middle Eastern capitals Cairo and Beirut with society’s privileged members. It illustrates how, in former colonized contexts, the positionalities of the researcher and the research subject are shaped by various geographic, social, and temporal locations. By delving into the challenges of elite research in a context that is informed and shaped by colonial legacies, the lecture questions the analytical value of binaries such as ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’, the ‘Global South’ and the ‘Global North’, and colonized and colonizer that often shape the premises of research agendas. It shows how these binaries are often too shallow to grasp the existing social hierarchies and power asymmetries. It proceeds by first tracing the (colonial) histories of contemporary taxonomies of difference. Second, it looks at the researcher’s positionality through the lens of gender and class, and finally illustrates how the mobile elite navigates between different audiences.

This lecture is part of the bi-weekly Berlin Anthropology Seminars. This series constitutes a joint initiative by anthropologists from the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at FU Berlin, ZMO, and Ethnologisches Museum. It intends to shape and cultivate an inclusive platform and open regular meeting point for exchange and discussion on current research by Berlin-based anthropologists. Please spread the word among colleagues, junior or senior, who may be interested. For further questions contact m.oschwald@fu-berlin.de
Organizers: Paola Ivanov, Claudia Liebelt, and Kai Kresse.

Zeit & Ort

15.11.2023 | 16:15 - 17:45

FU Seminar Centre, Otto-von-Simson-Str. 26, 14195
Berlin, room L115. Or online in our Webex room.
meeting ID: 2730 256 0409; password: BASwinter2023-24

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