We are pleased to welcome papers to the symposium "The dynamics of
changing styles and practices of indigenous leadership across Lowland
and Highland South America" at the 54th International Congress of
Americanists in Vienna, July 15-20, 2012.
The dynamics of changing styles and practices of indigenous leadership across Lowland and Highland South America
Latin American indigenous groups have ceased to be mere objects of state policies and have become subjects in national, regional and local politics. The Bolivian
presidential election in 2006 is but one example of this. Over the past four decades numerous indigenous organizations have been formed at local, regional and national
levels. This has led to increasing dialogue between indigenous representatives and representatives of the Latin American states as well as intensified cooperation
between the indigenous groups and NGOs at all levels. Today, many indigenous organizations have well-established links to branches of the UN, ILO and other supra-national
bodies of influence. Indigenous spokespeople are no longer only village chiefs or war leaders; they are elected officials from indigenous organizations that are
often tied into national and international networks. Some of them are trained specialists with a wide range of
responsibilities, including coordination, communication, education, health, environment, development, law, etc. The new leadership roles are often taken by indigenous
women and young people, and by indigenous migrants in urban areas. This has changed leadership practices and the nature of indigenous representativity as well as
the style of interethnic communication.
Indigenous leaderships practices across all these levels and political fields reflect traditional as well as emerging styles of leadership related to indigenous
cosmology and ways of perceiving the world, including the perceptions of personhood, sociality and the human body. The symposium will contribute to exploring the
dynamics of changing styles and practices of indigenous leadership across Lowland and Highland South America.
We invite contributions based on ethnography and/or historical records. The possible topics include:
â€¢ Indigenous concepts of power and leaderships and their interpretations from a native point of view.
â€¢ The development of new forms of leadership and representativity in Latin America.
â€¢ Effects of generational differences between old and new styles of leadership.
â€¢ Gender issues related to indigenous leadership.
â€¢ Emerging distances between indigenous spokespeople and the communities they are supposed to represent.
â€¢ Changing leadership and indigenous perceptions of personhood.
â€¢ Leadership and indigenous forms and perceptions of sociality.
â€¢ The meaning of the human body in contemporary indigenous politics.
For submitting your paper proposals please use the online form available on the ICA website:
Deadline for proposal submission is August 31, 2011.
The papers can be presented in English, Spanish or Portuguese.
Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, University of Helsinki/Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre La Défense
Cesar Gordon, IFCS, UFRJ
Hanne Veber, University of Copenhagen