Urla addresses plenary session of anthropology conference in Paris
Urla’s presentation, “Reflections on a ‘Thick’ Description of Resistance,” reviewed the emergence of resistance as an object of ethnographic study. She argued that the “thick description” characteristic of ethnography is a valuable contribution to the field of resistance studies. She called on anthropologists to make their work more relevant by engaging as public intellectuals in a broader field of political discourse.
The presentation drew from her recent book, "Reclaiming Basque: Language, Nation and Cultural Activism," published this year by the University of Nevada, as well as her current research on the historical memory movement in Spain.
Urla has just returned from conducting fieldwork on the latter project, during which time she also served as the field supervisor for a cohort of students conducting research on the theme of “Multiculturalism, Migration, and Heritage in Europe” as part of the Anthropology Department's three-year initiative Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS), supported by the National Science Foundation.
During the conference, Urla and colleagues Mikel Aramburu and Jaime Palomeraat the University of Barcelona convened a workshop on the “Uncertainties in the Crisis of Multiculturalism.” Three sessions of presentations explored the uncertainties and fears surrounding cultural diversity and heritage in the so-called “post-multicultural” moment. Graduate student Christopher Sweetapple was one of the presenters, and associate professor of Anthropology Krista Harper served as a discussant.The workshop was organized as part of the ongoing collaboration between the Anthropology Department and the University of Barcelona within CHESS.