Upcoming October Conferences

Another look at Wenner-Gren’s upcoming slate of conferences. For the month of October, we are sponsoring only a single conference, but it looks to be a good one!

 

Norms in the Margins and Margins of the Norm: The Social Construction of Illegality

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

October 25-27, 2012

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium

The aim of this conference is to share theoretical and ethnographic knowledge on informal and illegal activities through the lens of social and political norms underlying shadow spheres of negotiation between legal and illegal actors. In particular the conference will focus on the political construction of criminality by States and supra- and international agencies on the one hand, with the social and geographic organization of crime and the development of criminal habitus, as well as everyday practices and poetic “heroizing” in informal and illegal circles, on the other hand. The above considerations suggest various potential tracks for analysis. How do State and supra-national criminalization activities construct landscapes of illegality? How are the legal and illegal sides of global capitalism’s underground economies intertwined? What are the ethical justifications given for the legal and illegal constructions? How are norms inhabited, legitimized and challenged in the marginal spheres of today’s illegal and criminal worlds? How are the legality and legitimacy of the illegality-producing societal spheres maintained and perpetuated? Another area of inquiry would bear on our practice as researchers. How can researchers circulate in the spaces created by penal policies, between the analysis of state-led coercive processes and the observation of criminal trajectories? What ethical, political and epistemological issues are raised by investigation of the illegal and criminal spheres? Faced with objects of this sort, what positions and reflexive policies can research advance?

For more on this conference, visit its page on the Royal Museum for Central Africa’s website.

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