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Against Gravity : A Worldly Interview with Gustavo Lins Ribeiro

Title data

Papailias, Penelope ; Gupta, Pamila ; Jahn, Eileen ; Rocha Lima, Pedro Silva:
Against Gravity : A Worldly Interview with Gustavo Lins Ribeiro.
In: American Anthropologist.
29 July 2021

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

What does US anthropology look like from other sites of anthropological thinking, research, and teaching? Burning, imploding, guilt-ridden, self-involved? Creative, striving, critical, open? A wellspring of resources, including concepts, networks, funding, publications, and institutions, οr a ruthless extractive enterprise, incorporating just a sliver of diverse scholarships on its own terms, oblivious to the rest.

Probably a bit of all the above for us anthropologists who are based in “other locations.” As incoming editors of the World Anthropologies section, we are aware that this journal is a product of the above paradoxes. It is unclear if this section is for “us” in those other locations or for “you” who identify as “American anthropologists.” Indeed, one could imagine “neither” as the answer. Yet, at the same time, it could not be clearer that at this point in time, we desperately need deeper—not just perfunctory—conversations about the production of social research around the world and the (geo)politics of knowledge. We need more, rather than fewer, ways of communicating, networking, and sharing ideas in and across societies—but frequently also academic institutions—hostile to the anthropological project.

To this end, we sought out as an initial interlocutor the US-trained Brazilian anthropologist Prof. Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, an expert in political economy and globalization. He has played a pivotal role in establishing both a theoretical framework and a networked infrastructure for a pluriverse of anthropologies. In his prolific writing and organizing around the concept of “world anthropologies,” Ribeiro has offered a pointed critique of global hierarchies among anthropologies and anthropologists.

“Metropolitan provincialism” is the term he has coined to describe the lack of knowledge that anthropologists in the United States and other centers of anthropological knowledge production tend to have of anthropological research outside those hegemonic sites. “Provincial cosmopolitanism,” by contrast, names the extensive knowledge that anthropologists in those nonhegemonic sites have—and often need to have—of the discourses promulgated in recognized centers of cutting-edge anthropological production (Ribeiro 2006, 2014). Despite his structural critique, Ribeiro has remained hopeful about the possibilities for fostering and harnessing a transnational anthropological conviviality and collegiality against the forcefield of prevailing political, economic, linguistic, and cultural power dynamics.

Further data

Item Type: Online post
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: Chin, Elizabeth J. (Hrsg)
Keywords: world anthropologies; decolonization; language; convers-ability; metropolitan provincialism; provincial cosmopolitanism
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Epistomologies of the global South
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Epistomologies of the global South > Chair Epistomologies of the global South - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 08:13
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 09:32