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Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Barbara Bodenhorn, (University of Cambridge)

Fragments of intimacy and reassembling relations

The turn to 'Intimacy', as the subject of anthropological inquiry, has covered much the same ground as 'kinship' with its attention to the social relationships which form through bonding and moral obligation. The not straight-forward relationship between persons and things has a somewhat longer intellectual legacy within kinship studies. 
The present paper joins both strands through an exploration of instances where the production of intimate knowledge is a function of ambiguous thing/person interconnections. This, I suggest, allows us to expand our understanding of intimacy as an analytic. As such, this reflects my intellectual debt to Esther N Goody. Her dual focus on knowledge practices and their articulation as well as on kinship as an arena of moral behaviour that is as flexible as it may be structured is based on an encyclopaedic and multidisciplinary knowledge. Both her focus and her commitment to reading far beyond the boundaries of anthropology have informed my own understanding of the scope of anthropology.
A version of this paper will appear in a forthcoming volume, published by Berghahn, commemorating Esther Goody's legacy.
Friday, 26 October, 2018 - 16:15 to 18:00
Event location: 
Edmund Leach Room Department of Social Anthropology Free School Lane, Cambridge