Anthropological Knots Symposium – The VIDEOS!

In January Allegra has made repeated ‘noise’ over an event titled Anthropological Knots. Prior to the event we shared all of its details in a post, during the event we did live tweeting via the hashtag #anthroknots, only to later recount both the tweeting experience & highlight ‘best tweets’ with still photos in a follow-up post. At the same time we have continued promising that live videos of the papers will soon follow.

Today, we’re pleased to share these videos with you! Thus, please enjoy below best hits of talks by Marilyn Strathern, Michael Carrithers, Chris Gregory and David Graeber, followed by comments from Jeanette Edwards, Niko Besnier, Joel Robbins and Jane Cowan (to whom Allegra recently paid tribute on the event of her 60th birthday.

These videos are really only ‘teasers’ as all the papers will appear in full in a special symposium in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, and Allegra will of course report in due course. We will also continue the event’s aftermath to make sure that we can call say ‘Mission Accomplished’ – namely that we have thus showcased creative ways in which to fill the DEAD SPACE commonly existing between academic discussions occurring today at an individual seminar, for example, and the eventual scholarly publication to appear later.

Allegra thanks Juho Reinikainen and Hilja Aunela warmly for their diligent efforts in filming & editing these videos! We hope that you have enjoyed this opportunity to share the KNOTS-experience, and we will most certainly soon continue with more!



Marilyn Strathern, Cambridge University. “Anthropological reasoning: some thoughts”. Anthropological Knots Symposium.

Discussant: Jeanette Edwards, University of Manchester.



Michael Carrithers, Durham University. “The ironies of a simple ethnographic project, or what is it to stand at the edge of anthropology looking in” (paper held via Skype)

Discussant: Niko Besnier, University of Amsterdam.



Chris Gregory, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences. “On religiosity and commercial life: a post-animist critique of post-humanist society”.

Discussant: Joel Robbins, Collegium of Advanced Studies.



David Graeber, London School of Economics. “Anthropology and the rise of the professional managerial class” .

Discussant: Jane Cowan, University of Sussex.


Camera and editing: Juho Reinikainen & Hilja Aunela
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Anthropological Knots, Helsinki 15th of January 2014, Organized by Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki in collaboration with HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory




The current economic and political climate in many parts of the world is generating an increasing number of interventions from anthropologists, both individually and collectively. Amongst other things, these interventions concern anthropology itself as a discipline and as a practice, as well as commentaries on the shifting conditions that make anthropology possible. Many of these debates look both inwards and outwards, as they have always done: inwards at the new shapes anthropology is taking in response to these changing political and economic conditions; and outwards, making often pointed and public commentaries on contemporary structural and ideological conditions within which anthropology Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 5.55.22 PMexists. This is not simply a question of advocacy, but rather touches on something more basic: a debate about the shifting boundaries that generate new kinds of gaps and interfaces between anthropology and other things. These are fresh spaces in which diverse threads might run in parallel, cross each other or become entangled; spaces that engender debates about locating reworked relations, separations and limits, as well as debates about thinking through what could and should be done next. This issue centrally concerns the ties that bind anthropology together with itself and with the wider context in which anthropology has been practised in recent years. The symposium will bring together a small group of prominent anthropologists who have deliberately intervened, both within anthropology itself and more widely, and will consider the knots involved.


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