“Making Place” at the United Nations: Indigenous Cultural Politics at the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations

Excerpt From Essay

"In general, this article seeks to integrate the potential of an anthropology of such a "transnational mega-event" (Little 1995:265) with an awareness that has emerged in other disciplines about the richness of this particular site Scholars in international relations, for example, have noted that the WGIP is worth a close look because it represents a "marginal site of political experience," that is, a dynamic site of indeterminate meaning making with potentially revolutionary implications (Wilmer 1993:33; see also Maiguashca 1994; Roach 1987). In a similar vein, as will be shown, experts in international law and politics have noted that international indigenous political activism has placed itself squarely within the cracks, crevasses, and absences in these fields (Iorns 1992; Lam 1992; Tennant 1994). At the same time, anthropologists have documented and commented on the usage of "culture" in political arenas (Coombe 1999; Wright 1998), and are pointing to the chains of claims made, and the social identities concomitantly formed, in this concept's name. In international law, Rosemary Coombe (1999) has argued, the concept of culture has become a new virtue as much as it represents an old vice in anthropology."

"“Making Place” at the United Nations: Indigenous Cultural Politics at the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations," Andrea Muehlebach (418).

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