Praha #6


Stuart McLean

Stuart McLean received a BA in English Literature from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University. He held fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and the Humanities Institute of Ireland before taking up his current position at the University of Minnesota. His research asks what might happen to anthropology and to the humans it claims to study if it were to take seriously the other than human ‘life’ of the materials from which human worlds are fashioned. He seeks to learn both from anthropology’s encounters with other, non-Western forms of thought in which distinctions between humans and other kinds of beings are often configured in radically different ways, and from art and literature as engagements with the materiality of media (paint, stone, celluloid, the body of the performer, the rhythmic and phonic ‘substance’ of language) that always have the capacity to exceed or disrupt the human projects enacted through them. To this end his work aims self consciously to blur distinctions not only between academic and creative writing (including poetry) but also between writing and other expressive genres (audio-visual and performative). His latest book, Fictionalizing Anthropology: Encounters and Fabulations, Human and Other (forthcoming, University of Minnesota Press, Fall 2017) undertakes a comprehensive revisioning of anthropology as a mode of engaged creative practice carried forward in a world heterogeneously composed of humans and other than humans, and concludes that anthropology should understand itself as engaged not only in documenting the worlds others have made but also in the making of new worlds.

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