Lorenzo Cañas Bottos: "Performances and Palimpsests. The shades of Argentine Cosmopolitanism"

Departmental Seminar Series features Lorenzo Cañas Bottos, Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Trondheim.

The seminar is followed by informal gathering, at which refreshments are served. All are welcome!


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Photo: NTNU


This paper draws on fieldwork among the descendants of Levantine immigrants in Argentina. Like many “new world” countries, Argentina is characterized by being invented out of acomplex series of imaginations of the future and by multi-layered history making. The genocides of the colony, independence and the campaigns of the desert, were overlaid by an invisibilization of its indigenous survivors and the invention of Argentina as a cosmopolitan melting pot, the product of immigration. Here I focus on the term “colectividad” as a strategicentry point to understand both the possibilities and the limits of the acceptance of difference in the imagination of the Argentine nation, or put differently, the continuum between cosmopolitanism and ethnocide. For this I analyse a series of festivals organized by themunicipalities of cities like Buenos Aires, aimed at celebrating the different “colectividades”, contrasting them with a “palimpsestic” reading of urban landscapes. This brings to light someof the complexities behind apparent aspirations to cosmopolitanism, and the hidden ethnocide in the making of Argentina and its future argentines.

Research profile

Lorenzo Cãnás Bottos is a professor of social anthropology at NTNU. In 2014 he conducted fieldwork in Argentina, where he focused on issues of mobility, subjectivity, integration and cultural transmission among Syrian and Lebanese immigrants (and their descendants). Lorenzo is also currently involved in a project in Spain, on the social and cultural life (from conception to consumption) of the Iberian pig (pata negra) where he focuses on the anthropology of the senses, food production, certification and standardization. 

Lorenzo studied Socio-Cultural anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires (Lic, 1998) and Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester (MA, 1999; PhD, 2004). During 2004-2006 he took a postdoctoral position at University College Dublin. In 2006 he moved to Tallinn to build up the Baltic area’s Department of Sociocultural Anthropology and in 2007 he was elected as the country’s first Chaired Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology. He moved to NTNU in August 2009. Further information.


Published Jan. 8, 2020 6:48 PM - Last modified Jan. 9, 2020 10:50 AM