Clifford Geertz Commemorative Lecture: Challenging Art as a Cultural System: For Cliff from the 21st Century
A Very Modest Manifesto: to attempt to expand the disciplinary boundaries of both anthropology and science studies by employing local literary genres and films as features of dynamic cultural critique, accountable to technological change, shifting understandings of science and healing, and increasingly interactive and distributed modes of cross-cultural, cross-class, and cross-gender understandings. Art (visual, textual, etc.) in this sense is a challenging mode of probing -- analogous to, building upon, but different from, the textual metaphor for social action or hermeneutic and phenomenological immersions that Clifford Geertz promoted in the last century. I draw upon my recent fieldwork in Singapore and Southeast Asia as a way to explore locality in theory and praxis, and in constant renewal, becoming, and unfinishedness in theory and ethnography.