The Production of Other Knowledges and Its Tensions
In a recent volume, the anthropologist-politician Carlos Iván Degregori (2000) described anthropologists in Peru, his country and mine, as having developed an inward-looking analytical viewpoint that lacked comparative perspective. This situation, he explained, contrasted with that in the Northern Hemisphere, where access to bibliographic and funding resources provided scholars with a broader view that, nonetheless, featured an inward-looking tradition of its own. Although resources allowed them to compare and contrast anthropological knowledge about Andean countries, they generally did so with information published in English, mostly by US scholars. As an example of this parochialism (which, however, is not generally considered such, given the authority of North America as an academic center), he mentioned an article by a US colleague devoted to an assessment of Andean anthropology in which “out of sixty-two titles mentioned in the bibliography, only two are by Peruvian scholars, and one of them is in English, and written by a Peruvian woman teaching in the US.” Yet suggesting the complex geopolitics of knowledge-power relations, Degregori admitted that his own review of Peruvian anthropology excluded, or at the very least subordinated, knowledge produced in provincial universities (Degregori 2000: 17–18).