Special Issue: "Towards an Ethnography of Meeting"

A special issue on meetings of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute has just been made available online as an “early preview”. Congratulations to Hannah Brown, Adam Reed, and Thomas Yarrow who edited this special issue!

Since it is not yet officially published, there is no URL for the entire issue yet so I paste the links to individual articles here:

Introduction: towards an ethnography of meeting
Hannah Brown, Adam Reed and Thomas Yarrow

Political exhaustion and the experiment of street: Boyle meets Hobbes in Occupy Madrid
Alberto Corsín Jiménez and Adolfo Estalella

Minutes, meetings, and ‘modes of existence’: navigating the bureaucratic process of urban regeneration in East London
Gillian Evans

The meeting as subjunctive form: public/private IT projects in British and Turkish state bureaucracies
Catherine Alexander

An office of ethics: meetings, roles, and moral enthusiasm in animal protection
Adam Reed

Ethics in rehearsal
Bernard Keenan and Alain Pottage

The receding horizon of informality in WTO meetings
Nicolas Lamp

Demonstrating development: meetings as management in Kenya’s health sector
Hannah Brown and Maia Green

Ideological twinning: socialist aesthetics and political meetings in Maputo, Mozambique
Morten Nielsen

Where knowledge meets: heritage expertise at the intersection of people, perspective, and place
Thomas Yarrow

Contradiction in contemporary political life: meeting bureaucracy in Norwegian municipal government
Simone Abram

Outputs: the promises and perils of ethnographic engagement after the loss of faith in transnational dialogue
Annelise Riles

Marilyn Strathern

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Reminds me of small group theory, back in the day. What comes to mind is that 1967 Alison Lurie book - Imaginary Friends, intended to give a peek at researchers of small group theory.

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This is the post that seems to orient me best (so far) to the function of this forum. I’m imagining the forum was somehow set up in association with these meetings. Yes?

Hi Jane, and welcome to the forum!

No, not with these meetings, actually but rather this upcoming one:


Sorry that the exact purpose of the forum is perhaps not yet clear. That’s because this is literally just starting and while I have some ideas about where this might be heading, in the end it will be up to all of us. So if you have something to share which you think might be interesting for others, feel free to start a new topic.

Thanks Christoph! New to the forum and sorry to have overlooked this.

I guess just to add by way of context: I and the other editors came to the topic of meetings mostly by accident i.e. struck by the centrality of these institutional forms to the various contexts we were examining, initially in relation to other questions and concerns. The more we read within anthropology, the more we were surprised that while meetings have been talked about a lot, this has mostly been in relation to their content. Accordingly not so much attention has focused on these as specific forms of social interaction. From this perspective we became particularly interested in their capacity to stage and ‘conjour’ contexts of various kinds. The ethnographies in the volume help to illuminate the specific practices through which this happens, giving particular attention to actors own understandings of what they think is going on.

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Interestingly, this seems to be a recurring topic among meeting researchers…