2021 XIII SALSA Conference Organizer: George Mentore
University of Virginia
July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021
The disciplinary effects of anthropology have over the years gradually framed and reframed my current research interests. They have done so as the hard-won legitimacies to speak and to write about the cultural forces contributing to the presence of human socialities in the Antilles and Amazonia.
During my time as a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, their anthropology favored Structural-Marxism when it seemed the most likely theoretical paradigm to succeed. Today, however, perhaps with greater vigor, I animadvert more about the differences between observing, interpreting, and describing the lived experiences of individuals in their various social worlds.
If I were to admit to any formal category from which I now teach and research, I think it would have to be that commonly referred to as “Philosophical Anthropology.” My theoretical concerns have indeed been depicted as stemming from a subaltern consciousness, yet I intend neither to interrogate the scientific specificity of the anthropological project nor to place judgment upon its Euro-American emphasis. Rather, I would like to site the interpretative limits of the project and, from there, embrace — rather than evade — the anthropological difficulties compromising humanistic descriptions of the fabulously different ways people live their lives.