This year’s second overseas conference was held in Sydney at a new and fancy conference centre in Darling Harbour. With some of my Japanese colleagues, we have created a digital essay on the “Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan,” which was part of the new exhibition called STS Across Borders. The best for the genre is probably “experimental.” Not only we, even the organizers did not know how it was going to be. It was fun though and we hope to continue tinkering with this text-like-archive-of-genealogies.
This year I go to two international conferences during the summer. Both conferences are in the southern hemisphere, so they’re a sort of escape from the summer heat in Japan. In July, I organized a session at the IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) conference in Florianópolis, Brasil with two colleagues from Japan and Italy. It is a follow-up of the workshop we held in Kyoto University this February with many new presenters and topics, but still mostly an attempt to explore posthuman ways of life and especially the role of pharmaceuticals in shaping it.
Vital Experiments: Living (and Dying) with Pharmaceuticals after the Human (IUAES 2018, Florianópolis)
As part of a collaborative project at Minpaku on care in anthropology with a focus on Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe, I will talk, once more, about how experiment and care fold into each other in clinical trials across Hungary and Japan. I have written and presented about this both in Japanese and in English, but most listeners are very skeptic to these ideas. I’m sure I’ll have a hard time, again.
Thinking about an Anthropology of Care: A Discussion with F. Aulino and J. Danely (Minpaku)
- Akiko Mori (National Museum of Ethnology): “Introduction: Why does an anthropology of care arouse our interest?”
- Jason Danely (Oxford Brookes University): “Care as emotions and ethics: toward a cross-cultural comparative and approach”
- Erika Takahashi (Chiba University): “The logic of optimized care”
- Felicity Aulino (University of Massachusetts Amherst): “Toward a critical phenomenology of care”
- Gergely Mohacsi (Osaka University): “Experiments with care: between bench and bedside”
「人新世（anthropocene）」を問う——日本の人類学からの応 答可能性の探求 （分科会）
◼︎ 場所 ：神戸大学大学院国際文化学研究科、C会場(B201)
- フィッシュ・マイケル「Remediating Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene」
One day off from the summer school with RESPECT students at UofT, I join to this rather provocatively-sounding roundtable on more-than-human academic worlds. I’ll probably talk about kyōsei and the difficulties and pleasures of bringing in pharmaceuticals and plants to a human sciences curriculum..
More-than-human moves: of everyday entanglements and the Academy
Participants: Kelly Abrams (University of Western Ontario), Andrea De Antoni (Ritsumeikan University), Hiroaki Kawamura (University of Findlay), Gergely Mohácsi (Osaka University), Melanie Rock (University of Calgary), Scott Simon (University of Ottawa), Alan Smart (University of Calgary)
Abstract: Within the humanities and social sciences a nonhuman or more-than-human approach to writing and research has become a prominent genre. This is an epistemological move that underscores humans are ever-entangled with nonhuman animals, technologies, the environment and spiritual entities. Anthropologists, perhaps due to the centrality of anthropos in the discipline, were slow to respond to broader moves to decentre the human subject. However, the publication of the special issue The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography in the journal Cultural Anthropology in 2010 prompted a growing number of anthropologists to focus on more-than-human conceptualizations as valuable in understanding and describing everyday interactions. Nevertheless, movement towards such an approach in anthropology is often resisted by the power structures of universities where more quantitative and rigid regimes of classification—nature/culture or human/animal for example—remain. This round table discussion focuses on how the nonhuman turn informs the work of participants and how they maneuver within the academy. Put concretely, why and how is the nonhuman turn prominent in your work and what are the implications of more-than-human research for methods and practices?
After the RESPECT summer school has finished, I’ll stay in Toronto for a couple of days more for this international workshop held jointly by UofT and Osaka University. The line-up is really exciting. I wonder how all these ideas around kyōsei resonate with the work done to infrastructure during the past couple of years by my colleagues and friends in Osaka. My talk, “Gardening the Future: On the cultivation of herbal medicines and planetary health” will deal with the multispecies entanglements of plants and humans through a comparison of two different experimental sites of herbal medications in Nara, Japan and Hanoi, Vietnam.
Visible & Invisible: An Open Workshop on Infrastructure & Politics of Cohabitation (University of Toronto)
The last Kyosei Studies Colloquium this semester will be some kind of conversation between anthropologists from Japan and philosophers from France on the legacy of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s work. A bit over-ambitiously, I promised to give a paper titled “From a metabolic point of view: six notes on eating (folding) together.” Now, I’m trying to fold diabetes and cannibalism together, and see what happens…
International Symposium on Viveiros de Castro, Metaphysics and Anthropology