Call for Papers: New Trajectories in the Study of Development
Date: Tuesday 24 May 2016
Place: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Conveners: Philip Fountain (Victoria University of Wellington) and Bram Büscher (Wageningen University)
Development and development studies are at a turning point. The characteristics of core development problematics around poverty, inequality, marginalization and environmental degradation that many interventions and studies have responded to and tried to understand continue to change rapidly. Old divides and boundaries between rich and poor, north and south and modern and traditional are being rethought and reconfigured under the influence of myriad technological, social, cultural, political economic and other dynamics. At the same time, development itself is changing rapidly. Under political economic pressures, development is increasingly narrowly defined in relation to growth, entrepreneurialism and capital accumulation. Development studies scholars have tried to make sense of these and related dynamics, but after the so-called ‘post-development turn’ there seems to be a hiatus in terms of trying to construct a more overarching critical assessment of where current new trajectories in development are coming from, where they are heading and how they can be made sense of together.
This workshop investigates these concerns from the locations of anthropology, political economy and history. Through a critical interrogation of the meanings, valences, origins, futurities and effects of major contemporary ‘development trajectories’, this workshop convenes a critical space for diverse investigations into the idea and practice of development as well as the fields of study which analyse it. We invite presentations from across the humanities and social sciences that investigate the following sorts of themes:
• Assessments of the contemporary and historical state of development and development studies;
• Investigations into the anthropology of development in the aftermath of post-development scholarship, including for example analyses of the ‘new ethnography of development’ and similar research programs;
• Critical assessments of the changing political economy of development and the implications this has for those who study it;
• The work carried out by the term ‘development’, its relation to competing terms such as ‘buen vivir’, and its potential substitution or replacement with other concepts or ideas;
• Explorations into what ‘cousin’ fields to the anthropology of development – including, for example, the anthropology of humanitarianism, conservation, Christianity/religion, and materiality, as well work in neighbouring disciplines – might bring to an invigorated imagination and practice of research on development;
• Analyses that move beyond teleology into a new imaginations of development’s past, present and future.
Reflecting the interdisciplinary concerns of the conference the event will be hosted by Religious Studies, Development Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Victoria University of Wellington.
The conference will involve a limited number of papers in order to create ample space for discussion and debate. Please send paper proposals to Philip Fountain (Philip.Fountain@vuw.ac.nz) and Bram Büscher (email@example.com) by 15 March 2016. Proposals should include a title, abstract (150 words) and brief bio (100 words).