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Working Group Conception

The Genealogy Working Group addresses the contemporary repurposing(s) of the notion of “civilization” and considers the genealogies of this notion as well as contextualizing the current repurposing of the concept in the broader world stage. Members of the Working Group work on different geographic areas and disciplinary frameworks to consider multiple aspects (i.e., historical, political, social, cultural) genealogies of new civilizationisms and how they reproduce identitarian dynamics today. Considering genealogy both as a practice of tracing identitarian “roots” and as a Foucaultian history of the present, the Working Group broadly attends to “civilization” as a category of practice, rather than as a category of analysis. 

For its inaugural meeting in Fall 2023, the members of the Genealogy Working Group proposed three sets of readings that they considered relevant to the discussion of genealogy in relation to “civilization”: a primary source, a secondary source, and a theoretical piece. At the meeting, the members introduced the readings they themselves suggested and explained the reasons why they considered the suggested material as relevant. At the end of the meeting, the members in attendance decided to:

  • generate an annotated bibliography of the sources discussed and prepare the references of the pieces we each proposed,

  • annotate each one of them by entering a brief paragraph under each source, explaining our vision about how that piece connects to the broader issues raised at the meeting, 

  • write keywords underneath that emerge from these readings.

The members in attendance also concluded on the multiple meanings of the term genealogy and decided to prepare an annotated bibliography and hold another meeting in the Spring.