Who's Afraid of Universals?



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Anthropological Airwaves (Season 5, E1)


In this episode, a professor-student pair, Dr. Atreyee Majumder and Manhar Bansal, provide a glimpse into their ongoing conversation on the enduring role of universal categories and their relationship to anthropological knowledge. In light of the discomfort around universals in contemporary social sciences, they offer the provocation: can there be universals beyond those of capitalist modernity? They talk about the dominant time-space compression account of modernity, the possibility of uncovering other, more liberating and revolutionary temporalities, and the fun of doing theory in anthropology. They argue for the need to revisit the question of universal categories to think through our time and politics, albeit on a broader canvas. Tune in to ask, along with them, who’s afraid of universals?



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