Society for Cultural Anthropology
Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Any world is an edgy bag of refrains, tendencies, no-go zones, grooves of habit, some chaos of living. Its matter is already densely configured, its virtualities are a work to be done. If we could drop the realist and mimetic ambitions of a thinking subject that represents a world per.se. we’d be left with points of contact and interest rehearsing their own speculative potential. We’d build our chops to think from the middle of a milieu, emulating its oscillations and sediments, its differings, detours, and voicings. Enchantment is not just the perspective of a subject after the fact of encounter but an intercorporeal, intermundane method of leaning in to the characters entrained by a scene, the qualities unfolding with precision in a phenomenon – elasticity, brittleness, weight. It worlds, granulates, and deflates in an ecology of durations, force, remainder, return. Irreducible to the final solutions of explanation or intuitive mysticism, it’s vulnerable to the constitutive suspicion of conventional critique. It gets hidden in the folds of melodramatic praise. It’s not evaluation we need to approach it, whether as good or bad, but muscles of response, capacities of address, a nimble veering with, a way of corresponding with, the generativity of a suspension that initiates.