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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Keynote

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 1.71; 1.43; 1.44

Keynote Lecture 2 (Imagining World Solidarities for a Livable Future)


  • Alisse WATERSTON

Primary authors

  • Alisse WATERSTON (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York)


On the last pages of Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World (2000), the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano dares readers to exercise the right to dream. “Suppose we rave a bit?” he asks, and he offers a long list of possibilities for an alternative world. In this keynote address, I take up Galeano’s challenge to explore the possibilities of a livable future by means of world solidarities. I explore ways to work towards “universal liberation” (Roger Lancaster 2017), which is what the world needs now in order to move past the horrors wrought by radical evil (Richard Bernstein 1996; Hannah Arendt 1994). In imagining a livable future and forging world solidarities, I offer an anthropologically informed focus on the historical role of difference as ideological infection (Edward Said 1995) and as central to the anthropological endeavor, on tensions between identity and class politics and the fragmentations that result, and on the political economy of conflict that reproduces the impasses that make world solidarities seem so impossible. The current condition of the world, marked by war, ethnic conflict, nationalist fervor, environmental crisis and everyday structural violence, adds urgency to the multidimensional task to: understand the profound challenges facing humanity; transcend seemingly impossible impasses; and build productive connection and collaboration in the effort to sustain the earth and the living things in it.