Bio: Kamari Maxime Clarke is the Distinguished Professor of Transnational Justice and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), United States. For more than twenty years, Professor Clarke has conducted research on issues related to legal institutions, human rights and international law, religious nationalism and the politics of globalization.
Topic: This presentation examines American anthropology’s universalist tradition and its relegation of Black and Indigenous lives into objects of positivist methodologies. It explores the impact of those exclusions on the formation of a particular type of cultural anthropology whose goal became the ‘objective’ documentation of other humans for the purposes of humanist knowledge formation. By asking how alternative ethnographic tools and practices can enable approaches that attend to alternate knowledge forms, the talk seeks to move away from the production of universalist knowledge forms driven by positivist methods and logics. Instead, it takes seriously the fragmented and unfinished knowledges made explicit through the concept of abduction as a critical method that can be advanced through a radically humanist approach.
Such an approach to abduction as a critical articulation of partiality as a method is used in this article to destabilize the basis on which the knowable subject is pursued in anthropological analysis. The contribution is in rethinking the foundational making of the canon through its exclusions. The methods discussed in the essay are also reflective of the writing commitments that frame it with the goal of contributing to the development of an anthropology of Radical Humanism for the 21st century.
How Ataya works: One presenter and their work – in exchange with the audience. Each Ataya session engages with selected work by the presenter (a text, artwork, performance, even food). The presenter introduces their work and grounds the subsequent discussion with the participants. For best engagement, we recommend participants to view the work (made available in advance on our website) before the session. More on the Ataya Series