Anthropology Colloquia: The State’s own anthropology: Comparative Cases from California & Palestine

“The State’s Own Anthropology: Comparative Cases from California and Palestine”

March 24th, Thursday, at 11:30 – 1:30pm, ANSO 134, 6303 Marine Dr


Dr. Les Field is a Professor of Anthropology at University of New Mexico


ABSTRACT: In this paper I am concerned to speak as specifically and illustratively as possible about certain instances of the complex relationship between anthropological scholarship and the formation of state policies.  In what ways is anthropological scholarship deployed in the development of government policy?  Is the production of knowledge deployed in the exercise of a state’s governmentality with respect to indigenous peoples in fact distinct from anthropological knowledge?  Using case-studies from my work in California and Palestine, I elaborate these themes and question and show how in these instances states deploy policies that rely upon anthropological framework and epistemologies both with and without the complicity of anthropologist themselves.


BIO: Les Field is a Professor of Anthropology at University of New Mexico and author of Abalone Tales: Collaborative Explorations of California Indian Sovereignty and Identity and The Grimace of  Macho Ratón: Artisans, Identity and Nation in Late Twentieth Century  Western Nicaragua.