The Ebola outbreak in West Africa changed many relationships, between researchers and informants, between academic institutions and humanitarian agencies. With a mediatised need for anthropology and a willingness amongst anthropologists to engage with the global health machineries, a new professional match seems to be made.
However, reality in an emergency intervention is different. This talk will examine the journeys of anthropologists in institutional settings and the production and translation of anthropological knowledge in the response to the Ebola outbreak.
With examples from Guinea, the talk will investigate the relevance of time and space for production and communication of knowledge and the complexities of bridging different levels of knowledge hierarchies and possibilities of translation. Along the way, the talk will address the manifold characteristics ascribed to anthropologists as communicators, translators and interpreters. These interlocutor-positions will be conceptualised to better understand the evolving power dynamics in a global health emergency.
Speaker's bio: Anita Schroven is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany. She studied Social and Cultural Anthropology, Politics and Economics at the Universities of Göttingen and Sussex and received her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Dr. Schroven coordinated the research group Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University where she explored the relevance of cultural differences in diagnosing and healing. Currently, she is researching the effects of Ebola outbreak on West African societies, especially on inter-generational and gender relations