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Welcome to GASC 2013

The Conference Returns to its Origins at UCLA

Twenty-three years ago, the first Generative Anthropology conference, "Generative Anthropology: Representation and Origin" was held in Room 314 in Royce Hall at UCLA. Following a hiatus of seventeen years, during which the GA community maintained itself through Anthropoetics, our pioneering online journal, Andrew Bartlett, now the president of the Generative Anthropology Society and Conference (GASC), organized a conference in Vancouve that inauguarated a series of annual summer conferences held in American and Candian universities. Last year, GASC went to Tokyo.

Seeking the Human

Across the university today, ideas of the “posthuman” and ”transhuman” tempt scholarly attention away from the human as the meaningful center of rational inquiry.  To the Humanities, however, still falls the crucial task of focusing on the human as the unifying principle of what all scholars do. The hosts of Putting the Human Back into the Humanities share a commitment to a core set of intellectual principles: anthropology is not reducible to biology; exchanges of symbolic signs are not reducible to neurological events; genuine knowledge may begin with data of various kinds but finally requires the structuring of the human scene. A restoration of the Humanities to a position of respect in knowledge production demands the explicit theorization of the categories of this human scene, categories such as representation, language, the sacred, and the esthetic. From these in turn emerge concepts of textuality, resentment, desire, ritual, and the market.

How do we defend the study of texts—in particular sacred and esthetic texts—as producing knowledge of the human? How should we situate and valorize this knowledge in relation to that generated by the social and natural sciences? How is the knowledge generated by natural science to be understood in the context of the human scene of representation?  As current trends continue to squeeze the “human” out of the scene of representation and the Humanities out of the curriculum, these are concerns for us all. (Excerpted from GASC 2013 CFP).

Starting the Conversation

Three featured speakers will help us start the conversation:

Jean-Loup Amselle, the Centre d'études africaines (Center for African Studies) and the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Faculty of Advanced Study in the Social Sciences)

Eric Gans, UCLA

Richard van Oort, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Read more about them and their work here.

Staying Up-to-Date on Conference Preparations

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As the conference approaches, we'll be adding more information to the site. Currently we have a bit of background about Generative Anthropology and the work of GASC ("About the Conference"), preliminary information about the schedule and speakers ("Schedule"), arranging for your travel and visit ("Travel & Lodging"), getting around at UCLA ("Navigating UCLA"), and handling registration fees ("Registration").

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The Generative Anthropology Society and Conference, with the generous support of UCLA's Department of French and Francophone Studies, will host the sessions and exchanges. 
© 2013 Anthropoetics. All rights reserved.
Last revised: June 9, 2013