July 23-26, 2024
Barcelona, Spain

EASA Anthropology and the Arts (ANTART) network panel ‘Reconfiguring and expanding practices: Anthropology and the curatorial’


Alex Ungprateeb Flynn, UCLA
Giuliana Borea, Newcastle University
Francesca Cozzolino, EnsAD

We’re delighted to announce our panel for EASA 2024! Submit a short abstract of max 300 characters and a long abstract of max 250 words by January 22, 2024:


Short Abstract:

This panel differentiates between curating as a tool and the curatorial as an expanded practice that includes knowledge production, writing, spatiality, institutional mediation, and pedagogy. How might the curatorial propose a reconfiguration of an anthropological project contextualised by crisis?

Long Abstract:

Over the past years, the anthropological discipline has increasingly turned its gaze toward curating as a tool. While such a move has engendered productive exchange, an understanding has developed of curating as a technical modality, a means to bring anthropological work to new publics and open the discipline. While such efforts are welcome, following Irit Rogoff, this panel draws a distinction between ‘curating’ as a specific and one-off event, and ‘the curatorial’, expanded practice that includes knowledge production, writing, spatial politics, institutional mediation, and pedagogy. The instrumentalisation of curating is of course mirrored by the instrumentalisation of anthropology; just as anthropologists might experiment with modes of display, curators might engage with the anthropological discipline in a piecemeal fashion. Initial contact is a mere prelude to more profound engagement however, and In this panel we wish to address: in this expanded mode, what are the specificities that anthropologists working as curators can bring to both fields of practice? Contextualised by growing inequalities and the neoliberal academy, what are the potentials for an expanded pedagogy premised on multi-sensoriality and a new public access? What is the possibility of such a project to counter the epistemologies of an on-going coloniality through collaborative networks that welcome dissident bodies, diverse beings, and expanded relationalities? How might the curatorial and its oft-stated commitment to heal, from its etymological root of ‘curare’ propose a reimagination and reconfiguration of the 21st century anthropological project contextualized by times of crisis?

auflynn [at] arts.ucla.edu

Alex Ungprateeb Flynn is an Assistant Professor at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California, Los Angeles. Working as an anthropologist and curator, Alex’s practice explores the intersection of ethnographic and curatorial modes of enquiry. Researching collaboratively with activists, curators and artists in Brazil since 2007, Alex explores the prefigurative potential of art in community contexts, prompting the theorisation of fields such as the production of knowledge, the pluriversal, and the social and aesthetic dimensions of form.