4th workshop

4th Ethnographies of Science & Technology Workshop
第四回「科学技術の民族誌研究会」

Ontologies and Transubstantialist Ontology

Aurélie Névot
(CNRS, French National Centre for Scientific Research)

【日時】2012年4月9日14時より
【場所】大阪大学会館(豊中キャンパス)セミナー室1
アクセス:https://55099zzwd.coop.osaka-u.ac.jp/daigaku-hall/files/access.html
問い合わせ先:森田敦郎 morita@hus.osaka-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

The new millennium has so far marked an “ontological turning point” in anthropology. “Anthropology of Culture must be coupled with Anthropology of Nature” writes the French anthropologist Philippe Descola in Par-delà nature et culture, in his plan to rethink the Culture-Nature relationship by undertaking a “monistic anthropology” which would put an end to the traditional opposition between Nature and Culture and would then split with its institutional heritage, with its “constitutive dualism”. Another French anthropologist, Albert Piette, has recently criticized the relationist and culturalist “epistemological climate”, and in doing so, descolian anthropology. He foresees a method he calls “phenomenography” or else “ontography” in order to “break free of the socio-cultural focus to observe people, one by one, in their living continuity”. Thus, he proposes to develop an “ontic” perspective. It consists in studying the “existing”, in questioning how those beings are, how they exist in but also beyond their relationship with humans. In this sense, ontic methodology is anti-structuralist, anti-fonctionalist, anti-sociological, and anti-relationist. If P. Descola is a “relationist”, A. Piette could be seen as an existentialist. As for the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who argues that relationship is the “master notion” of anthropology, he advocates the study of the indigenous point of view, ardently criticizing the concept of “agency” and other notions referring to substantiality.In such an epistemological context, what could be said if “relationship” serves as a basis for representations of the world? If, more to the point, exchange is considered as an endogenous flagship concept, if the elements observed in the structure do not serve as markers for anthropological conceptualization, but if it is what links the elements involved in the local discourse that have to be conceptualized? What can one say if in-structure prevails over structure? If the relationship – the link associated with matter, substance – is the bedrock of the belief system? These questions emerge from studying ethnographic material from a Chinese minority, because the rituality of their shamans called “Masters of Psalmody”, bimo, does not fit de facto into the “relationist” theory. In their apprehension of the world, more than the ritual structure, it is indeed the movement/the shifting between bodies inside the ritual structure that prevails. We will try to defend this idea in order to draft a new ontological approach: “transubstantialist ontology”.

発表者紹介

発表者紹介:Aurélie氏は、雲南省の彝(Yi)族の文字に基づくシャーマニズムを研究されている方で、その事例に基づいてmultinaturalism批判などをしておられます。今回の発表では、彝族の事例とフランス人類学におけるmultinaturalismの受容と批判を結びつけたお話をしていただく予定です。

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2nd symposium

TRANSLATIONAL MOVEMENTS
Ethnographic Engagements with Technocultural Practices

International Symposium and Workshop at Osaka University

etghp_sympo2012smallDate: March 3-4, 2012 (Saturday and Sunday)
Venue: Osaka University Hall (formerly Igo-kan, Toyonaka Campus)
access map: http://www.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/access/toyonaka.html
Open to public. Admission Free. No registration is required.

SYMPOSIUM ABSTRACT

Scientific and local knowledge making are constantly at play in our world, and ethnographers engage with them in ways that are contingent to the modes of the encounter. This relatively novel ethnographic condition has been fertile ground for the ongoing dissatisfaction with the positivist division between theory and practice and led many researchers to detailed study of scientific work. What are the conceptual challenges that need to be addressed if the relationship between science and local knowledges is taken up laterally? How does the interplay of ethnographic and technocultural practices affect different pathways of situating ourselves (and others) between nature and culture? These are some of the questions that we hope to address. The symposium will bring together scholars from anthropology and science and technology studies to account for the methodological richness of this new mode of ethnographic engagement.

Workshop

Following the international symposium of the same title, a workshop for young scholars will be held at the Osaka University Hall on March 4, 2012. The purpose of this event is to give an opportunity for graduate students and postgraduate researchers of anthropology and related fields to present their materials in English in a friendly and informal atmosphere and to receive comments from our invited guests.

PARTICIPANTS

 Guest Speakers

Helen Verran (University of Melbourne)
Casper B. Jensen (IT University of Copenhagen)
Koji Sasaki (JSPS)
Hirokazu Miyazaki (Cornell University) 

Workshop Presenters

Group 1
HAMADA Akinori (JSPS)
NISHI Makoto (Kyoto University)
NAKAZORA Moe (University of Tokyo)
WAKAMATSU Fumitaka (Harvard University)

Group 2
Ece ÖYKEN (University of Tokyo)
UESUGI Takeshi (McGill University)
Greg de ST. MAURICE (U.of Pittsburgh, Visiting Researcher at Minpaku)
TAKEMURA Yoshiaki (Osaka University)
NOBORI Kukiko (Osaka University)

Group 3
YOSHIDA Naofumi (Waseda University)
NAKATANI Kazuto (Kyoto University)
UMEDA Yuna (Yamaguchi University)
WATANABE Noriko (Kyoto University)

PROGRAM

 Day 1 (International Symposium)

10:00  Opening Remarks

10:10  Introduction
         Atsuro Morita (Osaka University) and Gergely Mohácsi (Keio University)

10:50  Ethnography of Numbers
           Helen Verran (University of Melbourne)

11:30   Q&A session

11:40   Recursive Partnership, Recursive Infrastructure, Recursive Ethnography
           Casper Bruun Jensen (IT University of Copenhagen)

12:20  Q&A session

12:30  (Lunch)

13:30  Relaying Agencies in Knowledge: Minor intellectuals and anthropologist
           Koji Sasaki (University of Tokyo)

14:10  Q&A session

14:20  The Gift in Finance
           Hirokazu Miyazaki (Cornell University)

15:00  Q&A session

15:10  (Coffee break)

15:30  General Comments
           Kasuga Naoki (Hitotsubashi University)
Kurimoto Eisei (Osaka University)

16:00  Discussion

Day 2 (Graduate Workshop)

11:30 Lunch Meeting (everybody is welcome)

13:00              PRESENTATIONS in 3 groups
Group 1 (by Prof. Verran)
Group 2 (by Prof. Miyazaki)
Group 3 (by Prof. Jensen)

15:45              (Coffee Break)

16:00  General Discussion (until 16:45)

For further details contact:

Atsuro Morita (Osaka University) morita@hus.osaka-u.ac.jp, or
Gergely Mohacsi (Keio University) mohacska@z3.keio.jp
Symposium HP: http://anthropology.hus.osaka-u.ac.jp/120303.html

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3rd workshop

3rd Ethnographies of Science & Technology Workshop
第三回「科学技術の民族誌研究会」

Onto-logical Things and Anthropological Matters

 Date and Time: February 11, 2012, 14:30~17:00
Venue: Seminar Room, East Building, Mita Campus, Keio University
Access: http://www.keio.ac.jp/access.html

Open to public. Admission Free. No registration is required.
This event will be held in English; no interpretation provided.
For further details contact: Gergely Mohacsi (mohacska@z3.keio.jp)

WORKSHOP ABSTRACT

As part of material cultures or symbolic systems, artifacts are established subjects of anthropological conceptualization. Some have been looking for the footprints of ancient civilizations at archeological sites, while others have been tracing the manifestation of social order through gifts and commodities. The basic concern of most, if not all, of these approaches has been with the ways in which things are used and understood by humans. This workshop starts from a different question, namely, what things do? Such an ontological shift has been the topic of a series of experimental work during the past decade. Bizarre, as it may sound, the promise of such a shift is that it enables us to look beyond the human-centered framework of anthropology. The two presenters will propose two different ways to do so, followed by a discussion including other possibilities.

PROGRAM

14:30 Introductory Remarks

     Miyasaka Keizo (Cultural Anthropology, Keio University)

14:45 Ontological Phase-Shifts: The Electronic Patient Record, ca. 1995

     Casper B. Jensen (IT University of Copenhagen)

15:30 Where the Wild Things Are: Can we conceive of objects beyond/before relationality?

    Fabio Raphael Gygi (Doshisha University, Department of Sociology)

16:15 (Coffee Break)

16:30 General Discussion

  Moderator: Mohacsi Gergely (CARLS, Keio University)

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1st workshop

1st Ethnographies of Science & Technology Workshop
第一回「科学技術の民族誌研究会」 

Preventive Potentials: On Surveillance and Popular Culture

 Christopher Gad
(Assistant Professor, IT University of Copenhagen)

【日時】2011年5月26日14時より

【場所】京都大学北部キャンパス・農学生命科学研究棟 1F 104号室

 アクセス:http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ja/access/campus/map6r_n.htm

 問い合わせ先:森田敦郎 morita@hus.osaka-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

This talk uses the movie Minority Report (2002) as an entry point for discussing conceptions of surveillance technologies and their preventive capacities. The technological research project Intelligent Surveillance Systems located in Belfast shares a vision with MR: that it is possible to construct surveillance systems that are able to foresee criminal acts and thus to prevent them from happening. We argue that the movie exemplifies that technological development and popular culture share dreams, ideas and visions. Popular culture informs technological development and vice versa. The talk explores this relation and how investigating popular cultural sources in detail can expand discussions about surveillance and the (future) capacities of technology. 

発表者紹介

発表者紹介:Gad氏は、監視システム(surveillance technology)を主にactor-network theory (ANT) の観点から研究されてきました。近年では、人類学とくにMarilyn Strathernらの研究からインスパイアされたユニークな研究をとおして、ANTの視点をさらに発展させようとしています。主論文:On the Consequences of Post-ANT, Science, Technology and Human Values 35(1)。

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2nd workshop

2nd Ethnographies of Science & Technology Workshop

第二回「科学技術の民族誌研究会」

Human-Machine Relations in the Information Society

【日時】2011年2月17日14時より

【場所】大阪大学人間科学研究科(吹田キャンパス)東館106

 アクセス:http://www.hus.osaka-u.ac.jp/access/access.html

 問い合わせ先:森田敦郎 morita@hus.osaka-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT

That technology is growing ‘exponentially’ is nearly a given in the current historical moment. With each passing year, computers become faster, electronic storage units become more capacious, and network capacities multiply. Moore’s Law, a prediction made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, suggested that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit might double every 18 months. This is said to have held true up until the present, providing the primary engine powering the information economy. According to transhumanist futurist Ray Kurzweil, the exponential is also marker of the limit of human knowledge and capability: humans are linear creatures who can only barely imagine the power of exponential growth. In his view, humanity faces an existential crisis: it must become exponential by fusing with exponentially growing technology, or remain linear and obsolete as the rest of the technological world flies by. The exponential curve is a visual and narrative device for imagining near and distant futures. It points to the limits of our biology and the vastness of the human-machine future; the exhilaration of riding the accelerating wavefront of technological evolution and the terror of facing improbable catastrophes – which, as our speed through human history increases, become near certainties. Through the ‘exponential,’ these and other possible futures come to weigh on actors in the present. In this paper, I draw on an initial analysis of my fieldwork among transhumanists in North America to sketch the outlines of a “regime of anticipation” (Adams, Murphy and Clarke, 2009) which I tentatively call ‘exponential’ – a politics which joins sensual and cognitive interfaces of human bodies and information technologies with the hopes and anxieties of living in an information society. Drawing on my fieldwork, I will discuss and offer the exponential as a figure for thinking about how particular visions of the future are experienced and acted upon by transhumanists living in North America. See more in: Adams, V., Murphy, M., & Clarke, A. E. (2009). Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality. Subjectivity (28): 246-265.

PROGRAM

14:00 Introductory Remarks

     Atsuro Morita (Department of Anthropology, Osaka University)

14:15 Hope Springs Exponential: Anticipation, Human-Machine Relations, and Exponential Politics of an Information Society

     Grant Jun Otsuki (Department of Anthropology, Toronto University)

15:15 Discussant

  Gergely Mohacsi (CARLS, Keio University)

15:30 General Discussion

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1st symposium

TRAVELING COMPARISONS
Ethnographic Reflections on Science and Technology

International Workshop at Osaka University

 

etghp_sympo2009smallDate and Time: July 20th (Mon), 2009 13:00-18:00
Venue: Lecture Room #207 (Humaine Hall), 2nd floor of East Building of School of Human Sciences (Suita Campus, Osaka University)
Open to public. Admission Free. No registration is required. 

WORKSHOP ABSTRACT

This workshop will investigate some novel uses of the comparative method at the intersection of science studies and anthropology through ethnographic accounts of technoscience from/of Japan. Since its inception, much of the anthropological agenda has been revolving around various methods of comparison. While it has become something of a reflex to ask questions of similarity and difference, such comparative work has also provided an easy target for critics of simplification and reductionism. But, one may ask, aren’t these arguments themselves acts of comparison? Comparing may be more complex than it seems at a first glance. In the field, anthropologists work to recognize differences through continuously contrasting their findings with more commonsensical knowledge brought from home or elsewhere in order to make sense of the links between the particular and the general. On the other hand, however, such comparative work is also part and parcel of the very practices that are being studied. It is this implicit interplay between different scales of comparison that speakers of the workshop will reflect upon by examining complex ontologies of technoscientific praxis. In today’s globalizing world, knowledge is under constant negotiation and reordering around conflicting ideas of progress and development. Nowhere is it more evident than in the daily practices of living and working with old and new technologies. Scientist, mechanics, physicians and farmers whom anthropologists encounter in the field see development, uniqueness or backwardness in their innovations in the midst of complex relations, which connect local innovations and routines with the transnational circulation of people, objects and information. How do these circulations and unexpected connections stimulate us, innovators and users, to make comparisons in our daily engagements with technologies? How should we, anthropologists, reflect on the fact that while comparisons make connections, connections make comparisons, as well? By focusing on the relationship between ethnographies of Japanese science and the Japanese ethnography of foreign technologies, we will explore these recursive relations between comparisons and connections to challenge dominant modes of anthropological thinking.

GUEST SPEAKERS

 Anders Blok (Sociology, Copenhagen University)
Ryan Sayre (Anthropology, Yale University)
Annelise Riles (Cornell School of Law, Cornell University)

PROGRAM

 13:00 Welcoming Message by Kasuga Naoki

13:10 – 15:00 Session I
Introduction: Ethnographic Reflections on Science and Technology
Mohácsi Gergely (Anthropology, The University of Tokyo)
Morita Atsuro (Anthropology, Osaka University)
Comparative Globalities: Actor-network Theory and the Topologies of Japanese Whales
Anders Blok (Sociology, Copenhagen University)
Rendering the Unthought into the Thought: How Disaster Preparedness Experts are Futzing with the Notion of Certainty
Ryan Sayre (Anthropology, Yale University)

15:00 (Coffee Break)

15:15 – 16:45 Session II
Compelled to Compare: Traveling Machines, Uncertainty and Emergent Relations in Thai Indigenous Engineering
Morita Atsuro (Anthropology, Osaka University)
Missing Hormones, Working Men and Other Metabolic Interferences
Mohácsi Gergely (Anthropology, The University of Tokyo)

16:45 (Coffee Break)

17:00 Wrap-up and Discussion
General Comment by Annelise Riles (Cornell School of Law, Cornell University)
General Discussion

For further details contact:

Atsuro Morita (Osaka University) morita@hus.osaka-u.ac.jp, or
Gergely Mohacsi (The University of Tokyo) mohacska46@gmail.com
Symposium HP: http://gcoe.hus.osaka-u.ac.jp/090720workshop.html

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