Modernity and Autochthony: The Question of Land-Based Group Identity
Open only to doctoral students based at universities within the U.S.
Spring- June 4-8, 2014 in Berkeley, California
Fall- September 17-21, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia
This workshop will focus on the contemporary problem of autochthony in a global environment and the longer cultural history of autochthony in the European and American imagination. By "autochthonous," we mean something broader than the more common term "indigenous," which in both recent United Nations usage and scholarly convention has designated minority groups whose ancestral ways of life as first settlers tied to the land have been threatened by something called modernity or globalization. (That the UN in 2007 sanctioned the French translation of "indigenous" as "autochtone" only adds to the confusion.) Instead, with the term "autochthonous," we mean to indicate both the plight of generally powerless "indigenous" peoples as well as the increasing resistance of local "nativist" groups ("sons of the soil"), the latter often in positions of political power, who defend their existential rights against immigrants, transients, and those who are perceived as not "belonging" where they happen to be. Our aim is to follow the trajectories of these notions of belonging in their shifting meanings and different contexts.
- Vincent P. Pecora
- Gordon B. Hinckley Professor of British Literature and Culture, University of Utah, English [ bio ]
Vincent P. Pecora is Gordon B. Hinckley Professor of British Literature and Culture at the University of Utah. In addition to authoring several other books and numerous journal articles, he is currently preparing two new manuscripts: Secularization without End: Beckett, Mann, and Coetzee and "Anyone Is as Their Land Is": Autochthonous Modernism. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of California Research Institute. His research interests include late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, critical theory, intellectual history, and the question of secularization in modernity, with specific regional interests in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe. Pecora received his PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.
- Peter Geschiere
- Professor of African Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, Anthropology and Sociology [ bio ]
Peter Geschiere is Professor of African Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is a fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and a member of the Academy of Sciences of Cameroon. In 2002, he was named "Distinguished Africanist of the year" by the US African Studies Association. His books include Perils of Belonging - Autochthony, Citizenship and Exclusion in Africa and Europe (University of Chicago 2009) and Witchcraft, Intimacy and Trust - Africa in Comparison (University of Chicago 2013). He has received grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and other funding sources. Geschiere received his PhD in Social Sciences from the Free University, Amsterdam.
List of recipients for this competition is not yet available.