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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

VISIONARY PRACTICES IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE: AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE IMAGINAL

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.03.00  Humanities  Anthropology   

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Keywords
Comparative anthropology; the ethnography of visionaries, visionary practice and imaginal; social transformation; societal self-understanding; the good; Serbia; Albania; Papua New Guinea; India.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Points
2,182.21
A''
237.76
A'
843.21
A1/2
1,083.21
CI10
174
CImax
24
h10
8
A1
7.26
A3
0.15
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 22, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  43  96  75  1.74 
Scopus  53  238  176  3.32 
Researchers (4)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22570  PhD Nataša Gregorič Bon  Humanities  Researcher  2021 - 2024  175 
2.  33016  PhD Ana Jelnikar  Humanities  Researcher  2021 - 2024  263 
3.  33466  PhD Maja Petrović-Šteger  Humanities  Head  2021 - 2024  141 
4.  15116  PhD Borut Telban  Anthropology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  425 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,162 
Abstract
Advancing the notion that people come to experience and shape themselves and their social worlds through bodily, ideational and imaginative practices, anthropologists study both the intimate and subjective, as well as the large-scale cosmologies. Yet, attempts to comprehend certain regions and societies, especially those taken as in crisis and stalled, tend to focus predominantly on their economic, political or religious conditions. This research argues that while funding invaluable insights, a politico-economic idiom tends to coalesce habitual ways of conceiving its subject matter. Further, it often misses other practices and ideas central to people’s lives which connect them to larger interpersonal, social and natural systems. These societies’ manifestations of hope, self-resourcing and potential self- and community-transformation, when not phrased as political or religious projects, often pass undetected, or register as merely quixotic. In this way, predictions of their possible futures get analytically pre-empted. The wager of this proposal is that anthropology is able to identify individuals, events and processes potentially indispensable in moulding of the socio-historical. The research proposes to study visionary conceptions of the world that are not yet fully socially embedded or networked, but carry in them a potential for social change. It will focus on visionary people and imaginal practices in four fieldsites – Serbia, Albania, Papua New Guinea and India, who, in a climate of hopelessness, intend radical social transformation premissed on some notion of the common good. The research will foster collaborative inquiry, ethnographically-based but theoretically precise, into how individuals and groups understand their mediation of sociohistorical change. The project, comprising four researchers (including PI), will last 36 months. In specific research terms it will address comparatively, ethnographically and theoretically 1) a range of visions and visionaries (scientists, artists, intellectuals, creators) oriented to societal transformation, and 2) the meaning and effects such imaginal practices have in wider social contexts of Serbia, Albania, Papua New Guinea and India. The work will cleave to how individuals and collectives envision and contribute to transformative processes in their societies, scrutinising the relationship between visionaries’ practices and the conceptions of social good they promote. Working ethnographically with four key analytics – the visionary, the imaginal, social transformation, and social healing – the work seeks to uncover patterns of relationships between people’s ideas of time (the past, present and future), their world and its potential for change. The aim is to develop an original, fine-grained account of how people at a time of upheaval imagine alternative visions of society and project a better future. Our central suggestions are: 1) that ethnography of the visionary can observe the ways in which individual and collective imaginative practices acquire social purchase, 2) and that theoretical attention to the imaginal can explain history and time as potently as anthropologies insisting on economic, political or religious analyses. In turning to emergent seeds of vitality – the visionary ideas and the imaginal – this project breaks with the assumption that politio-economic language represents the ultimate terms in which anthropologies of certain postconflict, postcommunist or postcolonial societies ought to articulate these contexts’ sense of their time. While adopting a critical, not starstruck, position in relation to ‘visionary’ ideas, research goal is to open up a discussion on the value of training anthropological attention on not just observable facts but also on what is latent in historically-situated consciousness.
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