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Winter Workshop: “Indigeneity, Orality, and Liminal Ontologies"
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1/15/2020 to 1/20/2020
When: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Where: Diphu, Assam 
Contact: University of Tartu, Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore

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The “Indigeneity, Orality, and Liminal Ontologies: Methodological Pluralisms and Approaches to Culture" Winter Workshop has been organized by the University of Tartu, Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, in collaboration with Centre for Karbi Studies, Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Nordic Centre in India, New Delhi; Marginalised & Endangered Worldviews Study Centre (MEWSC), Cork, Ireland; University of Tartu Asian Centre, Estonia with support from Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), Karbi Anglong, Assam.

This five-day Winter Workshop brings international scholars of all academic levels into the dense belief-environment of Karbi Anglong, Assam, Northeast India. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the “indigeneity” of Eastern Assam, with a special focus on the orality and liminal ontologies of the Karbi, the most populous “indigenous” group in Assam. The Karbi speak a Tibeto-Burman language and much of their expressive culture exists in the form of orally transmitted narratives. A sizeable number of oral narratives comprising multiple genres can be found in variation across Karbi Anglong.

The Winter Workshop will examine these marginalized worldviews, alternative ontologies, and liminal phenomena to reconsider the comprehensions and boundaries of “indigeneity," the impact and history of orality, and the central role that liminality plays in Karbi life. “Indigenous," “orality," and “liminality” are not homogenized things, and scholars currently engage in discourse about what it is that even constitutes these ideas, terms, and practices (cf. Kraft and Johnson 2017 on “indigeneity”). Discussions of “vernacular religion” (Primiano 1995), the “ontological/recursive turn” (Descola 1992 & 2005; Viveiros de Castro 1998; Latour 2013), and the “folkloristics of religion” (Valk 2017) will also be incorporated into the Workshop.

For more information, see Winter Workshop


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