Keynote by Prof. Veena Das. “It is not that …”: Skepticism, Moral Insight, and Ordinary Realism”

  • Date: –13:00
  • Location: Humanistiska teatern
  • Lecturer: Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
  • Website
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and Engaging Vulnerability research program (UU)
  • Contact person: Anna Baral
  • Föreläsning

Keynote for the SANT/FAS2018 Conference "Vulnerabilities".

“It is not that …”: Skepticism, Moral Insight, and Ordinary Realism”
Veena Das captures the texture of everyday life in the slums in Delhi that are steeped in a kind of quotidian violence and try to discern how moral insights are generated within this scene of corrosion. Recent critiques of the genre of realism in ethnographic writing make a rather rapid   shift to such genres as that of mood or the subjunctive. She argues instead that the issue is not that of the suspension of the real but that of the contextual embedding of the real which includes within itself such registers as that of the modalities of the possible. Moral insights are not divorced from the appeal to regions of the real but we are led to ask what kind of real is at stake? Instead of the troubles of the eighties as in the crisis of representation, or in the unsayability of violence, the question for her becomes that of overwhelming, or inordinate knowledge and the imperative to absorb it in everyday forms of care.