Panel no. 10 - Lost in Representation: Changes and Paradoxes in the Nomads' Life


Title Ms First name Giulia Last name Gonzales
Institution University of Turin City Turin Country IT


Title Dr First name Greta Last name Semplici
Institution name Oxford University City Oxford Country GB


Panel title

Lost in Representation: Changes and Paradoxes in the Nomads' Life

Panel abstract

This panel reflects on the legacy of "nomadology", founded by Deleuze and Guattari (1988) on anthropology today. Taking Ciavolella's reflection (2016) as a starting point, the panel discusses long-lasting representations of nomads' life, and their relation to power (for example of the state, but not limited), in light of economic, political, and socio-cultural shifting contexts. Literature on nomadic peoples have generally underlined their different territorialities of power, hence avoiding state's governmentality, or praising their capacities to fighting within power's articulations (McCabe, 2004; Scott, 2009). These accounts are still valuable today in certain contexts, and relevant when analysing nomadic people's own self-representations and desires for an idealised collective past. However, they are partial, and they can dangerously fall on the slippery slope of essentialism, or shadow precarious and problematic social realities nomadic peoples face today around the globe: that of urban marginalisation, adaptation to ecological changes, global economy and politics (e.g. mining exploitations). This panel welcomes contributions which consider the changing realities in nomadic and pastoralist people's lives, how they navigate these changes, and which kind of narratives accompany these processes. In so doing, this panel reflects on the legacy these (nowadays-romantic) representations of "the nomad" has on anthropological production. Bibliography: Ciavolella, Riccardo. 2015. Alterpolitics or Alterotopies. Focaal 2015(72):23-36. Deleuze, Gilles and FĂ©lix Guattari. 1988. A Thousand Plateaus. London: Athlone Press. McCabe, J. Terrence. 2004. Cattle Bring Us to Our Enemies. Ann Arbor: Michigan Press. Scott, James C. 2009. The Art of Not Being Governed. London: Yale Press.

IUAES Commission

IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples