Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC)

(Run by Allen Abramson & Martin Holbraad)

WHERE AND WHEN: Alternate Fridays 4-6pm, Staff Common Room
: Friday 4 October, 4pm, Staff Common Room

CROC is a fortnightly gathering of graduate students and staff who share an interest in cosmologically informed approaches to anthropology. Conceived as a space to share ideas, read good books and discuss each other’s work, the group has for the past five years brought together people working on such topics as religion and ritual, mythical landscapes, risk and death in the modern world, indigenous mathematics, cosmologies of exchange, ontologies of emotion and seduction, and much moreThe group runs fortnightly in 1- to 2-hour meetings, in which pre-circulated texts are discussed. These may be published texts relevant to the themes of the group or texts written by the group’s members (draft articles, thesis chapters, project proposals, etc.). The group is envisages as a prime intellectual forum for students conducting research in the fields of cosmology, religion, ritual, myth, imagination and so on. In some years the group has continued to meet during Term 3 and/or the summer. In addition, every year we welcome external speakers – in the past these have included Bruce Kapferer, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and the late Mary Douglas. CROC also regularly organises international workshops, which have in recent years included such figures as Marshall Sahlins, Gregory Schrempp, Caroline Humphrey, Don Handelman, Daniel Miller and Marilyn Strathern among many others.


In 2011 CROC organised a major international workshop on Contemporary Cosmologies and the Cultural Imagination, with speakers including Marshall Sahlins, Gregory Schrempp, Caroline Humphrey, Don Handelman, Morten Pedersen and Daniel Miller among others.

This year, on June 12 and 13, CROC PhD students are holding a workshop on the theme of Moving Scales and Scales of Movement: Cosmologies of Borders and Crossings. The workshop explores participants’ work-in-progress where questions of movement and scaling creatively intersect, at the level of ethnography, analysis and methodology. How might ethnographic instances of movement (e.g. of people, spirits, concepts) be conceived in relation to different forms of scale (e.g. regimes of value, geo-political orders, ontological frames of reference)? To explore these themes the workshop brings together graduate students and staff members from the anthropology departments of UCL, LSE, Goldsmiths, Cambridge, Bergen, Aarhus and Copenhagen. Participants include Allen Abramson, Jo Cook, Annelin Eriksen, Martin Holbraad, Bruce Kapferer, Morten Nielsen, Morten Pedersen, Knut Rio, Michael Scott, Marilyn Strathern and Brit Winthereik.

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