Ladislav Holy Memorial Lecture 2015

Some Collaborative Comments/ Conundrums

Thurs 10th Sept 2015, 5.30pm, School V

Professor Paul Sillitoe, University of Durham

A review of, and reflection on the collaborative moment in anthropology, which is arguably the next major phase in the discipline’s development.  After briefly considering the origins of collaboration and progress towards it to-date, the lecture will consider some substantive issues, drawing on some hard lessons learned in a recent disastrous collaborative research project in the Gulf region.  These issues range from apparently straightforward matters, such as developing appropriate research methods and managing collaboration, to highly complex ones, such as who makes what decisions about what constitutes collaborative research.  A prominent issue is power, which has both local and global dimensions: how can we share it equitably?  It relates to fundamental matters such as whose views of what constitutes knowledge should prevail and what ethically we can do with research findings.  The challenges of collaboration are considerable, as are potentially the rewards.