Dear colleagues and friends,
It is our great pleasure to invite you to attend the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences’s (IUAES) Inter-Congress World anthropologies and privatization of knowledge: engaging anthropology in public to be held in Dubrovnik, from 4th to 9th May 2016.
The study of humanity in its wider aspect and unifying humanities, social, biomedical and natural sciences, used to be a strength of anthropology. That characteristic made it, the most humanistic discipline among the natural sciences, and, perhaps, the most scientific among the humanities disciplines. In recent years, it has, however, become more and more difficult to sustain those kinds of wider anthropological perspectives and to maintain the interconnections they require, particularly in a context of the development of manifold anthropologies and anthropological perspectives, especially those which would transcend the discipline’s western roots. Also lost in recent decades, is the discipline’s wider public appeal in part perhaps because of a loss of internal disciplinary coherence. The Inter-Congress aims to seek ways to discover how anthropology can find ways to re-invigorate and sustain its holistic humanist perspective, while at the same time critically engaging with the most urgent social, political, economic and other urgent issues around the globe which make its public responsibility – local, regional, national, transnational, and global — more necessary now than ever before.Scientific research, scholarship and new insights derived from those are nowadays increasingly being used for immediate applications that aim to improve all aspects of life. Research results can and should be used to implement modifications of and in various different social domains and to induce qualitative and quantitative change. Most importantly, they can be used to improve the quality of life and to eliminate social and economic inequalities between different groups and populations.
The scientific program of the Inter-Congress is intended to provide participants with an opportunity to discuss and develop a comprehensive insight into the diversity of ways in which scientific research and scholarship can be, has been or will be employed to understand and engage in social processes and to consider the various risks brought about by new technologies, global economic development, changes in the world’s demographic structure and the increased complexity of managing contemporary societies. In particular it will consider the extent to which and how privatization of knowledge has become a serious global socio-political threat, not only because it often precludes the general public from knowing about or understanding important new insights in scientific research and scholarship, but also because it results in knowledge being more and more unevenly distributed around the globe to the extent that, if knowledge is privatized, the global south will increasingly be deprived of access to new knowledge and the potential to use it to improve life. The ethnological and anthropological sciences encompass an abundance of different research fields and perspectives, particularly as they develop in diverse parts of the world. The Inter-Congress will provide participants a unique opportunity to learn about those diverse perspectives in the ways they address a wide variety of pressing global issues and topics.
On behalf of the Organizing & Scientific Committee we wish you a very warm welcome to Dubrovnik in 2016!
Saša Missoni, Ph.D., Head of the Croatian organizing team,
Institute for Anthropological Research & Croatian Anthropological Society
Prof. Rajko Muršič, Ph.D., Head of the Slovenian organizing team,
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana & KULA, Slovenian Ethnological and Anthropological Association