Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Houdart’

CfP: Making the World Happen

7 February 2012

Making the World Happen: International Events and the Logistics of Globality

111th AAA annual meeting, Borders and Crossings, November 14-18, 2012, San Francisco, CA

Paper abstracts are invited for this panel to be submitted to the Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA).

International events (Olympic Games, World’s fairs, World cups, transnational meetings and conventions) play nowadays a significant role in the creation and densification of global connections for the flow and circulation of people, materials, capital, technologies and ideas. Whereas anthropologists have often paid attention to the symbolic and ideological dimensions of international events, analyses of the institutional, managerial and logistical frameworks of these events have predominantly been economic in orientation with a focus on their overall costs and benefits. Conversely, the recent surge of publications in event management tellingly displays a new corporate interest towards the discipline of cultural anthropology as ethnographic insights are being valued as useful toolboxes in the ongoing management of conflicts and controversies in the context of international events. This panel will bring together ethnographic investigations into the organizational layers of these short-lived global hubs in order to explore in comparative guise their complex assemblages of material and infrastructural configurations that allow for the effectivity of transnational operations.

Submitted proposals for presentations should address one of the following topics:

1. Following controversies: Opening the black box of international events sheds light on the debates and conflicting concerns that emerge between various stakeholders (individual, institutional, international, non-human, etc.) around issues such as design, themes, orientation, outsourcings, public safety, legal harmonizations.

2. Assembling atmospheres: Events designed for the fostering of global connections and the development of international exchange rely on the manufacture of breathable spaces, that is the constitution of artificial climates, spheres of immunity, air-conditioned globalities (Sloterdijk) achieved through an ecology of devices and infrastructures.

3. Spatiotemporal attunements: International events are also anchored upon the existence of “grooved channels” (Geertz, Bestor) that support the engineering of a “ready-made” globalization in order to facilitate the enactment of the daily operations of global connectivity. These include the creation and enforcement of standards that accompanies the transnational extensions in the circulation of materials, people and commodities, the constitution of “obligatory passage points” (Callon), and the establishment of hourly schedules for deliveries, inspections, maintenance, accounting activities, etc.

Please submit the following information to Van Troi Tran ( by Friday, March 16, 2012 for consideration:

Name, Institutional affiliation, Paper title, 250-word abstract, Contact information

Organizers: Van Troi Tran, Sophie Houdart

For more information:

American Anthropological Association:

AAA 2012 Annual meeting guidelines and rules for participation:

Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology: