Our 9th biennial conference encourages us to consider the global dimensions of particular ethnographic encounters. The wider interconnections, the spread of ideas, the dynamic relationships and processes which shape the everyday activity of social life; these lie increasingly at the centre of our methodological and theoretical preoccupations as anthropologists. Mediated by individual, institutional, national developments of enormous complexity, this link between global interchange and local creativity deserves our systematic attention and analysis.
Europe and the World, the specific title of our gathering, provides us with an opportunity to reconsider these ideas close to home and far away: Europe, inevitably, has set part of the epistemological background of our everyday working lives, and, has both for good and for bad, had profound wider influence. The rest of the world, the recipient and the partner in this exchange, may watch, interact, protest, suffer and readapt. We invite you to consider this from the point of view of your fieldwork, writing, analytical perspective, and experience.
The ninth biennial conference location, in the historic maritime city of Bristol, immediately gives precision to this theme in a number of ways: the diffusion of ideas, the growth of mercantilism and international trade, the relationship between diasporas and cultural change, and the extremely complex social phenomenon of empire, invasion and occupation in its widest sense are all quite crucial to the social history of the city and the region, yet at the same time resonate throughout human societies more widely in both modern and pre-modern periods.
From this plethora of possibilities, delegates are invited to consider some of the following further specific areas, upon which there will be invited workshops. Amongst these are Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Persons; The Black Atlantic; Diasporas and Migrant Labours; Unification of Europe; Museums and the Colonial Past; Medical Anthropology, Europe and the World; Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter Revisited; Ambivalent Europeans. There will also be three plenary sessions, on Markets and Cultures; Colonial Legacies; and Diffusion, Religion and Secularism respectively, and a round table specifically on Eastern Europe as a field of anthropological enquiry.