Konferenz Anthropology of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on September 6-8, 2019

Dear All,

We are happy to announce that the conference Anthropology of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Examples from the Anthropology of Christianity and its Others will take place at Villa Hatt, Seminarraum, Freudenbergstrasse 112, 8044 Zürich on September 6-8, 2019. The conference starts with a keynote by Prof. Joel Robbins from the University of Cambridge on July 6, 5pm at Villa Hatt.

Since its beginning, anthropology has been trading in alterity, invested in studying phenomena that are typically considered to be—to some extent—‘other’ to anthropologists themselves; Geertz famously described anthropologists as ‘merchants of astonishment‘ (1984: 275). This focus, however, has arguably been on certain kinds of alterity, but not on others. Robbins (2013) argued that anthropology’s focus has shifted from the ‘savage slot’ (Trouillot 2003) to the ‘suffering slot’. Harding suggested to make those who appear to be ‘repugnant cultural “others”’ anthropological objects of inquiry in their own right, while Joel Robbins proposed an ‘anthropology of the good’. Against this backdrop the goal of this conference is to bring together scholars studying different Atheist, Humanist, Nonreligious and Christian groups and to ask, in which ways do they organise their personal and collective lives in order to foster what they think of as good? How do we describe their understanding of ‘the good? How do we deal with negative responses to these notions of ‘the good’, including discomfort, mockery or repulsion? Does Anthropology in its self-understanding have, as stated by Bialecki (2008) and others, a particular antagonistic relationship with certain groups? More generally: Who are repugnant cultural “others” (& for whom) in contemporary anthropology?

All those interested in the conference and/or the Keynote please register with Rivana Cerullo rivanacelina.cerullo@uzh.ch by August 15.

Costs: Registration fee per day per Person is 60 CHF, free for students. The fee for participating at one of the dinners (September 6th or 7th) is 40 CHF, 20 CHF for students.

The fee will be paid in cash at the registration desk at the conference.

Kind regards

Johannes Quack, Maria Hughes and Rivana Cerullo