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SIEF2013 Theme

The SIEF 2013 Congress proposes to examine the stakes and implications of circulation. Circulation and its semantic siblings – flow, exchange and mobility – are the buzzwords around which interdisciplinary conversations across the humanities and social sciences are organized at the present moment, superseding the previous decade’s buzzword globalization, which in turn superseded postmodernity, which superseded nationalism and ethnicity – eventually taking us back to the concepts around which our fields were constituted, including transmission and diffusion. In fact, ethnologists and folklorists as well as cultural anthropologists have been thinking and writing about circulation, flow, exchange, travel, and mobility for a century and half.

This legacy bears revisiting. We are witnessing an unprecedented growth of networks, of new infrastructures and channels that circulate knowledge, expressions, images, and information at previously unthinkable speeds, ranges and intensities. This calls for a renewed interest in how cultural forms and expressions are produced, retained, contested or consumed via these new circuits.

The questions raised by this new state of affairs affect every subfield of the ethnographic disciplines, and both age-old and emergent theoretical foci. For example: