Overheating seminar: Civilizational Analysis and the Study of Identity in Anthropology
Director, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology/
Senior Researcher, Overheating project
Chris Hann (Photo: private)
I have been working for some years with Johann P. Arnason to explore how anthropologists have influenced and been influenced by the field which he calls civilisational analysis, as practised by historians, historical sociologists, political scientists and others. In the first half of the presentation I shall review the progress we have made to date. In the second half I shall ask more speculatively how the dimension of civilization might be brought to bear on contemporary research into collective identity. In view of the literature on "superdiversity" and the "riddle" or "mess" of multiculturalism, what room is there - if any - for this seemingly old-fashioned and heavily tainted concept? This is one of the big questions behind my new ERC project "Realising Eurasia: civilization and moral economy in the 21st century", which I shall outline briefly in concluding the talk.