AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists   
Type: Paper
Paper Title: HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND ITS CONDITIONS OF IMPOSSIBILITY
Author: STEPHAN PALMIE' (University of Chicago)   
Date/Time: Sat., 2:45 PM
Co-Author(s): STEPHAN PALMIE' (University of Chicago) 
Abstract: Ever since the emergence of modern forms of historicism in the course of the nineteenth century, historical knowledge has become premised on the dual assumption of an objectively given past distanced from the present across measurable, irreversible time, and the potential for its recovery through an evidentiary regime that transforms aspects of the phenomenologically given world (objects, texts, photographs, etc.) into indexically conceived signs or traces of the past. By the same token, the semiotic ideology underlying contemporary historiography rules out non-indexically mediated types of evidence, however morally plausible these may come to appear to specific communities of interpretation, and consigns them to the realm of the non-historical. In discussing to what extent the utterance of mediums of spirits of the enslaved in Afro-Cuban religious praxis might be brought under the same analytical umbrella as nineteenth century American slave narratives, this paper seeks to explore the conditions of impossibility that contemporary historiography imposes upon representations of the past that its epistemic conventions relegate to the realm of the iconic (memory) or symbolic (fictive).

Program Number: 4-0750
Session Title: HISTORY, MEMORY, GLOBALIZATION: IN HONOR OF MICHEL-ROLPH TROUILLOT
Session Sponsor: American Ethnological Society
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): RICHARD PRICE (College of William & Mary), BRACKETTE WILLIAMS (University of Arizona) 
Chair(s): RICHARD PRICE (College of William & Mary)  
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