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An Elephant in the Room: Tracking an Awkward Anthropology

— This is a YCAR-supported Event —
Emergent Futures CoLab (EFC) is very excited to announce the launch of their online talk series Talking Uncertainty with ‘An Elephant in the Room’!

Their first discussion will feature Emergent Futures CoLabadvisor andCentre for Imaginative Ethnography curator Dr. Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston. In her talk, she will track the feeling of awkwardness she experienced in an imaginative ethnography project conducted in collaboration with a Polish Romani woman. Reflecting on how working at the intersections of ethnography, performance, storytelling and fiction shifted reflexivity from the purview of the anthropologist to that of the interlocutor, she proposes an imaginative and creative praxis as a starting point for reinventing anthropology.
Drawing on these ideas, they will discuss the “anthropology of possibility” and how ethnographers “can become attentive to the unpredictable, hidden, obscure, and humble ways in which activism might play out in the field” (Kazubowski-Houston 2018). More info here:
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houstonis an anthropologist, performance theorist, theatre director and playwright. She is Associate Professor of Theatre and has graduate appointments in Theatre & Performance Studies and Social Anthropology at York University. Her book,Staging Strife(2010), was awarded the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Outstanding Qualitative Book Award and the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Prize (2011). Her article, “quiet Theatre: The Radical Politics of Silence,” was awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) 2019 Richard Plant Prize, granted annually to the best English-language article on a Canadian theatre or performance topic. She is a co-founding member and co-curator of theCentre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE)–winner of the 2019American Anthropological Association General Anthropology Division New Directions Award, which recognizes work presenting anthropological perspectives to publics beyond the academy across diverse forms of media with methodological rigor and ethical engagement.
All of EFC’s talks are recorded and published on the EFC website
Become an EFC member if you would like to attend and participate in the live talks:
Thanks to EFC’s partners: York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), Centre for Imaginative Ethnography, Peripheral Visions Lab, andYork U AMPD.



Jul 15 2020


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Online Event @
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