Seminar – Marriage in Past, Present and Future Tense

Helen WalkerNews

Marriage in Past, Present and Future Tense

An informal seminar by Professor Janet Carsten
Social Anthropology, School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh.

In this seminar, Professor Janet Carsten will discuss findings from an ongoing collaborative project funded by the European Research Council, ‘A Global Anthropology of Transforming Marriage’ (AGATM).

The co-authored paper, drawing on a collaborative ERC-funded project, argues that marriage not only reflects socio-political changes, but is also an agent of transformation, connecting personal lives and kinship with larger-scale historical processes. As a key site where politics, intimacy, the family, religion, and economy converge and are distinguished, marriage encompasses and relies on ethical and imaginative comparisons made by individuals, families and communities. The paper argues that, paradoxically, it is through its very conservatism, which masks and enables innovation in intimate relations and on wider political scales, that marriage is central to transformation and agency.