UCL Anthropology



13 February 2017–15 February 2017, 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Event Information

Open to



Daryll Forde Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, Taviton Street 14

How to think a world experienced as turmoil? And how far might that sense of turmoil - of a world apparently running away with itself - be conceived as an occasion for anthropological thinking to break with itself? We take the concept of rupture as the lens that brings into focus an urgent concern with radical change. Linking the possibility of a new departure with a deliberate break with existing orders, rupture thematises disavowal, negation and violence as constituents or moments that are immanent to the production of difference. It thus lends a harder edge to the talk of novelty, creativity and emergence with which anthropological and broader theoretical theorizing, reflecting global trends in social discourse, is currently awash. Counterpoising the dynamics of event, eruption, disruption, radical critique and brutal affirmation to the more organic language of potentiality, collaboration, resilience and transformation, our concern with rupture seeks to make a break for anthropology, and perhaps with it, too.

Rupture is jointly sponsored and hosted by the European Research Council research projects Comparative Anthropologies of Revolutionary Politics, based at UCL, and Egalitarianism: Forms, Processes, Comparisons, based at the University of Bergen. It is co-sponsored by the Danish Research Council research project Escalations: A Comparative Ethnographic Study of Accelerating Change.

Organized by Martin Holbraad (UCL), Bruce Kapferer (Bergen) and Michael Rowlands (UCL), the workshop brings together speakers from the UK, the US, Scandinavia, South Africa and elsewhere for three days of intense debate. For more information see the Rupture program below. 

Coordinator: Julia Sauma (UCL/ São Paulo) at rupture2017@gmail.com