Since mid-1980s body and embodiment constitute an important concept of anthropological studies. Seen as material and symbolic as well as individual and collective, body enables to address questions of power and epitomize broader cultural dynamics.
However, explicitly bodies, embodiment and body performance have been given relatively little attention so far when it comes to studies on Europe and Europeanization and its effects.
Europeanization and "European integration" in political sciences are conceptualized as a political and legal process leading to the abolishment of national borders between member states of the EU. In consequence it may lead to an increased harmonization and standardization of policies, laws, procedures, institutional and organizational shaping on the level of nation-states and establishment of supra-national system of governance. In anthropology Europeanization has been often defined as "a strategy of self-representation and a device of power" stipulated most prominently by the policies and institutions of the EU (Borneman & Fowler 1997). Nevertheless, since Borneman and Fowler's elaborations it has undergone many different meaning-shifts. For the purpose of this workshop, we define Europeanization as a multifaceted, sometimes contradictive and unpredictable cultural process that is ideologically conjoined with wealth and particular shape of free or common market, democracy, modernity, progress, human rights, equal opportunities and rule of law, thus it is a vehicle for capitalist and neoliberal ideology that has it's roots in colonial past of "the West", but also for their subversion.
The aim of this workshop is to move beyond the current core and peripheries approach to Europeanization and "Europe" and to explore their analytical and empirical value anew. By focusing on body, embodiment and body performance we would like to challenge the often dichotomous approach of "in" and "out", "black" and "white", "now" and "then", "past" and "future", "here" and "there", "modern" and "backward" or "male" and "female" and explore the potential of bodies to study Europeanization. Such approach should also re-establish body as a concept to study Europe. How focus on bodies enables to explore the analytical value of Europeanization in studies of culture? How Europeanization as a research approach contributes to analytical conceptualization of body and embodiment? How "Europe" becomes visible on and in bodies? What limits and borders can be denoted on and in bodies when Europe and Europeanization as a device of power is scrutinized? What are the overlapping and twisted strategies of power of Europe visible on and in bodies? In these discussions we would like to focus on following analytical, methodological and epistemological concepts and their overlappings:
- subjectivities and group formation
- consumption, lifestyle, body regimes
- regimes of knowledge and truth such as policies of harmonization and standardization (of medical and reproductive technologies)
- intersections of race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, culturalized background, ability and bodies and positionalites these categories and their intersections produce
- autoethnography, discourse analysis, rituals, phenomenology, sensuous scholarship, activism.
This workshop's aim is to gather scholars from a variety of anthropological/ethnological approaches and traditions and other disciplines such as gender studies, human geography, history, postcolonial studies whose work address the following questions and whose work has not been previously discussed:
- How "European", "rational" and "capitalist" bodies are in the state of becoming in the new Europe?
- How are their "others" produced and how subversion becomes visible on bodies?
- Do bodies and embodiment challenge EU-European policies and discourses and vice versa: how polices and knowledge shape bodies, bodily performance and embodiment?
- How spaces and temporalities are shaped by and shape "European" bodies and their "others"?
We will bring together, in a coherent format, topics of research that are at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship across anthropology/ethnology, cultural-, race- and gender studies. Our engagement will be both empirical and theoretical: we aim to grapple with alternative approaches to the concept of body and its relationships with Europe and Europeanization.
Please send you abstract and a short CV till 15th of July to Dr. des. Paweł Lewicki at lewicki(at)europa-uni.de
We will cover travel costs up to 100 Euro and accommodation costs of selected participants, accommodation is in Słubice. For further information please contact Dr. des. Paweł Lewicki at lewicki(at)europa-uni.de