What Happens to Race When Empires Crumble?

Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity Network Meeting, 15-16 December 2021

Our two-day event seeks to connect social and cultural anthropology to the crucial activism surrounding heritage, museums, and public culture in Europe today. The event will gather together activists such as Berlin Postkolonial, the District Six Museum in Cape Town, and scholars such as Professor Ciraj Rassool from the University of the Western Cape, and elsewhere in a virtual platform under the title “What Happens to Race When Empires Crumble?” We will raise questions about race/racism, coloniality, decolonisation, and activist work in universities, museums, other public institutions, and in heritage work today. Attention to these themes intensified throughout the world during the summer of 2020 with the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd. They have also captured the attention of EASA members, who have had to grapple with variations of these encounters and contestations with structural racism and the response to the colonial past in both within and outside the academy. These discussions will greatly enrich our two-day event, as we examine and unack anthropological understanding of anticolonial and anti-racist activism in Europe today. We will link our network and EASA to conversations that expand what an engaged public anthropology might look like. In an age where taking a stand, connecting, and listening continues to be critical, our event seeks to enact a process of direct engagement that models the decolonial spirit of what a revitalised anthropology can achieve. We will hold four sessions with inputs from activists, academics, and practitioners.

We look forward to your participation. Please register here as a participant: https://forms.gle/TaBhoazD6y3QxFjo8

We organize ourselves around the below themes:

1. How do we reconcile scholarship and activism? Our presenters will give 15 minute presentations on this theme.

2. What is happening to race in the early 21st century? Our presenters will give short presentations on this theme.

3. What is new in the study of race and what are its links to current notions of empire? We invite 5-minute presentations on the new directions in the study of race. Please send short abstracts (150 words) if you would like to contribute to this theme.

4. Mentorship meeting about the writing process. We will hold an hour-long session to address writing, article submission and negotiating the peer review process.

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