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"Making Selves, Making Revolutions: Comparative Anthropologies of Revolutionary Politics" (CARP)
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"What kinds of self does it take to make a revolution? And how does revolutionary politics, understood as a project of personal as much as political transformation, articulate with other processes of self-making, such as religious practices? Comparative Anthropologies of Revolutionary Politics (CARP) seeks fundamentally to recast our understanding of revolutions, using their relationship to religious practices in diverse social and cultural settings as a lens through which to reveal revolutions’ varied capacities for self-making. Developing a comparative matrix of revolutionary settings in the Middle East, Latin America and elsewhere, CARP’s core objective is to investigate the differing permutations and dynamics of revolutionary ‘anthropologies’ in the original theological sense of the term, i.e. charting revolutionary politics in relation to varying conceptions of what it is to be human, and of how the horizons of people’s lives are to be understood in relation to divine orders of different kinds, in order to reveal how revolutions come to define what persons may be, deliberately setting the social, political, cultural and ultimately ontological coordinates within which people are made who they are. Bringing close ethnographic investigation to bear on conceptions of revolution, statecraft, and subjectivity in political theory, CARP will produce comprehensive political ethnographies of nine major case-studies, comparing systematically the relationship between revolution and religion in a selection of countries in the Middle East and Latin America. Four smaller-scale case-studies from Europe and Asia will add complementary dimensions to this comparative matrix. Providing much-needed empirical materials and analytical insight into the dynamic comingling of political and religious forms in the making of revolutionary selves, CARP’s ultimate ambition is to launch the comparative study of revolutionary politics as a major new departure for anthropological research."
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