Workshop: Marriage - Entanglements, Detachments
Convenors: Erdmute Alber, Janet Carsten, Koreen Reece
Marriage is often conceptualized as a social practice that brings people together. Anthropologists have tended to focus on the economies, rituals, and tempo-ralities of weddings and marriage in terms of exchange, meant to connect spouses, families, and communities. Our workshop aims to turn these assumptions around: we suggest envisioning marriage in terms of its detachments as well as its connections, and the processes of dis- and re-entanglement it involves in a globalized world. We seek to grasp both the resilience and decline of marriage in comparative context, and to examine its role in reflecting and precipitating social change.
We ask: what detachments and entanglements does marrying involve, whether of selves, of families, of histories and futures, or of objects and places? What are the legacies of these connections and disconnections, links and breaches, over the course of a marriage, a life course, or across generations? What roles do religion, gender, class and race play in these entanglements and detachments? And in what ways does the study of marriage allow us to trace the entanglements of kinship with these domains, as well as the ways people attempt to detach them, across history?
This event will be hosted by the Chair of Social Anthropology and the Cluster Africa Multiple at the University of Bayreuth, in collaboration with the ERC-funded project A Global Anthropology of Transforming Marriage (AGATM) at the University of Edinburgh. As well as contributions of new work-in-progress by participants, the event will feature a book launch and roundtable discussion of the AGATM project’s forthcoming Marriage in Past, Present and Future Tense (London: UCL Press).
More information can be found in the program for the workshop that is following.