Value and Change, Value in Crisis

June 1-3, 2022

Hybrid Conference:
Copenhagen School of Business, Denmark
Virtual conference hosted via Zoom

Conference Chairs: Matthew Archer, Sverre Raffnsøe, Daniel Souleles, Morten Sørensen Thaning

Cosponsored by The Philosophy Group at the Department of Management Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School

Conference Keynote:
Lindsay DuBois
Dalhousie University
Valuing and Devaluing: Struggles over social payments, dignity and sneakers

Call for Papers

The planet is on fire. Humans are irreversibly changing the climate. The global pandemic has revealed the shortcomings of our institutions, and exposed centuries-old inequalities structured around race, class, and access. Authoritarian, xenophobic nationalism abetted by police violence and elite impunity remain a feature of the political landscape which allows for the endurance of both white supremacy and capitalist dispossession and extraction. As an increasingly diverse chorus of speakers call for change, state actors work to limit expression and defend the status-quo. What, if anything, can economic anthropology do about all this?

At the heart of these significant global crises are interconnected questions of value and values. Questions such as: how do we accommodate diverse cultural values within inclusive social systems like states and nations? How do we value people: their labor, lives, health, and happiness? How do we value the planet: as exploitable resources, as market-valued ecosystem services, or as landscapes of interconnected persons, animals, plants, and memories? How do we trade off current and future values? Who has the power to author value, and how can less-powerful actors challenge dominant value schemes?

Value and values are classic themes in economic anthropology. However, theorizing that anthropologists commonly do relies on fairly stable, generic, and ethnographically verifiable forms of value that adhere to people, places, and institutions. In this way, value becomes a shifty way to talk about culture and make social life more bounded and static than it actually is. To meet our historic moment with its emphasis on actual novelties or its demands to mark events and ideas as novel, this call encourages anthropologists to think more broadly about how values change through time, how values conflict with each other, and what happens to values in crisis.

This call, then, is an invitation to theorize value and change, as well as value in crisis. In doing so, we encourage anthropologists to clarify what exactly it is that they do and what exactly it is that they want to do.

Given this agenda, addressing any of the following questions would be most welcome:

  • How do value systems change through time?
  • Where do new values come from?
  • Is it possible to abolish a value system?
  • Is it possible to abolish a value system?
    • If yes, how?
    • If no, why not?
  • What happens to an institution’s value system when an institution is abolished?
  • Do people still carry that value system with them?
  • How does the larger society react to abolished institutions and their value systems?
  • Do states have values?
  • If a value system were predicated on a place, what happens when that place goes away?
    • Is taken from you?
    • Is no longer inhabitable?
  • How does property emerge and become valuable?
  • What circumstances lead people to value or abjure property?
  • How do power differentials warp and change values and value systems?
  • What happens when contradictory value systems meet?
  • How does the experience of violence change the way someone ascribes values?
  • How do people enact values through violence?
  • What is the relationship between force/the threat of force and the values that someone holds?
  • What circumstances lead to the peaceful coexistence of contradictory values either in an individual or in a larger social context?
  • How do people value life when faced with extinction and death?
  • What does it mean to value the whole planet?
  • How can we value future people?
  • How can we value future non-humans, animals, and or eco-systems?
  • How does value turn into political mobilization and action?
  • How does social visibility/invisibility changes someone’s value in a given social context?
  • How are people valued if they don’t have money?
  • Why does hoarded monetary wealth lead to the hoarding of other forms of value?
  • Is it possible to write and describe from multiple perspectives on value and worth?
  • Given our historical moment, should economic anthropology’s methods and aims change?
    • If so, how and in what way?
    • If no, why not?
  • Has economic anthropology, in its empirical or theoretical work, implicitly valued certain people or things at the expense of others?
  • What relationship should economic anthropology have to past theorizing on value, either in terms of reciprocity, sociality, exchange, or otherwise?
  • What might other disciplines—disciplines such as philosophy, history, critical race studies, ethnic studies, gender studies, etc.—have to say to anthropologists about value?

Registration and Abstract Submission Guidelines

Abstracts will be accepted from December 1, 2021 through January 7, 2022 and can be submitted here. Note that it is not necessary to register for the conference prior to submitting an abstract. However, in the event that your abstract is accepted, you will have to be registered to attend the conference in order to present there.

Information from the AAA about the conference, registration, and rates can be found here.

Register for the conference here (login required).

Venue: Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Porcelænshaven, Copenhagen Business School

CBS is an international school, focused on developing strong links between contemporary research and the active business community. The atmosphere is intellectual, but always in a way that keeps business realities firmly in focus.

Copenhagen Business School has around 15,000 students and an annual intake of around 1,000 exchange students. With this number of students as well as around 400 full-time researchers and around 500 administrative employees, CBS is one of the three largest business schools in Northern Europe. CBS’ research profile covers a broad subject area within the social sciences and humanities. This reflects a societal need to understand business issues in a broader social, political and cultural context. Known for its international focus, CBS is partnered with over 360 business schools and universities worldwide, offering extensive exchange opportunities. Many professors at CBS are recruited internationally.

The Department of Management Politics and Philosophy is housed in the Porcelænshaven, Frederiksberg.

Travel and Accommodations

Travelers will fly into the Copenhagen Airport (CPH), the main international airport serving the city. The distance into central Copenhagen from the airport is approximately 11 km (6.8 miles) and takes about 19 minutes. Transport is available via bus, train, and metro, and a ticket (which is valid for all three) for an adult single trip costs 4,8 euro. More information about travel in Copenhagen by metro is available here.

There will be no hotel room block this time but there are many options available for accommodations throughout the city center at various price points. To learn more, you can search Google, Trip Advisor, or the travel application of your choice for “hotels near Copenhagen Business School”. Accommodations in Copenhagen are also available via Airbnb. Finally, for the flexible and budget-conscious, there are hostels nearby that can be found by a simple Google search.