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第二十期 Megan Steffen:CROWDS: Ethnographic Encounters

时间:2017-10-26 16:59:47


CROWDS: Ethnographic Encounters

What exactly is a crowd? What can experience teach us about how crowds transform our emotions, politics, or faith? Unlike more straightforwardly delimited groups, such as religious communities, family structures, and ethnic, tribal, or national groups, crowds are often defined by a sense that inclusion and exclusion is not rigorously controlled or controllable. Similarly, joining a crowd is often described as a transformative experience that makes people lose their self-control either by making them more submissive to the group or else by giving them permission to behave in ways they might not dare to as an individual person; however, the validity of these experiences are often difficult to verify after the fact. The ethnographer is therefore in a unique position to analyze and theorize crowds as they form in real time throughout the world. This talk will introduce listeners to a series of short essays in a forthcoming volume that recount ethnographic encounters with crowds, masses, and other densely packed physical and affective spaces. The talk will gesture toward the formation of an anthropological theory of crowds—an object long neglected by anthropologists—and to the development of ethnographic methods for studying crowds.

主讲人:Megan Steffen (林玉屏)

Dr. Megan Steffen, postdoctoral Fellow in the Tsinghua-Michigan Society of Fellows, housed in the Institute for World Literatures and Cultures and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Tsinghua University. She received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University in August 2016. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province in the People’s Republic of China. Her dissertation-based book manuscript examines how accidents and unpredictability influence the way people make decisions, maintain social relationships, and manage resources. She is currently working on projects related to the history of ethnographic practices, theories of crowd and group formation, and economic anthropology.


Chen Xiangjing is a postdoctoral fellow of the state-sponsored Program of International Postdoctoral Fellowship, affiliated with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; she is also the academic secretary of the Institute of World Literatures and Cultures at Tsinghua University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in modern Chinese literature from Peking University, and PhD from the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University in August 2017. Her research interests include Chinese socialist literature and culture, modernity of East Asia, Marxist theory on uneven development, and translation theory. Her dissertation explores the literary representation of the village-based “commune” in Chinese modern literature and its role in China’s course of modernization as well as in the “uneven” structure of world economy.


时间: 2017年10月26日周四 12:30-13:30



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