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In the midst of apparent political dissension or social conflict, the call ‘to be civil’ is powerful. This workshop starts with the premise that civility is a normative value, a cultural practice, and a form of political life. We aim to foster discussions bringing into focus the ethical charges and political implications of attempts to act civilly. The workshop will ask some of the following questions: How might one conceptualize civility and its associated concepts in new ways and/or with new histories? What are the forms, practices and claims about civility that shape people’s everyday interactions? Which actors have particular stakes, and why, in claims about civility? What normative frames and forms of accountability are involved in such practices? How do claims of civility relate to wider inequalities and violence? What is the relationship between urbanity and civility? 
9:45-10am- Introductory Remarks, Sharika Thiranagama, Tobias Kelly 
Panel 1: Civility as a Norm
Chair: Dilshanie Perera (Stanford)
10-10:30am- Laurent Gayer (CNRS/CERI-Sciences Po, Paris) Drawing the Line: Bonds and Boundaries of Civility in a Karachi katchi abadi
10:30-11am- Tobias Kelly  (University of Edinburgh) The Incivility of Peace: British Pacifists in the Second World War
11-11:30am- Kabir Tambar (Stanford University) Negative Historicity and the Ethics of the Minority Question in Turkey
11:30am-12:30pm- Discussion chaired by Dilshanie Perera (Stanford)
Panel 2: Civility and Intimacy
Chair: Jess Auerbach (Stanford)
1:45-2:15pm- Thomas Blom Hansen (Stanford University) Civility, Cultural Intimacy and Racial Difference after Apartheid
2:15-2:45pm- Helene Risor (Catholic University of Chile)Civility, Victimhood and Citizenship in Post-dictatorship Chile
2:45-3:30pm- Discussion
Panel 3:  New Political Genealogies
Chair: Byron Gray (Stanford)
4-4:30pm- Lisa Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania) Recognition and the Conditions of Listening: Civility, Criminality, and the Political in South Asia
4:30-5:00pm- Carlos Forment (New School for Social Research) Recycling Civility: Urban Scavengers and Urbanity in Contemporary Buenos Aires
5:00-5:45pm- Discussion
Co-sponsors: Stanford Initiative for Religious and Ethnic Understanding and Coexistence, Stanford Global Studies: Urban Beyond Measure, Freeman Spogli Institute, Department of Anthropology, CREES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, ABBASI Program in Islamic Studies, Center for South Asia, Center for African Studies, University of Edinburgh (UK), Stanford Humanities Center



Friday, April 17, 2015. 09:45 AM


Anthropology Colloquium Rm, Bldg 50, Room 51A


408 761 0208


If you have any questions regarding this conference, please contact the organizers Sharika Thiranagama and Tobias Kelly at
This event is free and open to the public.