Call for Contributions: Indigenous Mathematical Knowledge and Practices Panel

Call for contributions to an ‘Open Panel’ as part of the 18th International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) World Congress
July 16-20, 2018 – Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Brazil

Indigenous Mathematical Knowledge and Practices: (Crossed-) Perspectives from Anthropology and Ethnomathematics
Coordinators: Eric Vandendriessche (CNRS, France) and Rik Pinxten (Univ. of Ghent, Belgium)

Identifying activities developed by Indigenous societies as implying mathematical knowledge and practices is a relatively recent issue, significantly linked to the development of ethnomathematics (Ascher, D’Ambrosio, Gerdes, et al.). Today, ethnomathematical research increasingly involves an ethnographic approach, which may offer new perspectives on anthropological issues regarding the universality and cultural variations of mathematical activity (at least labeled as such from a Western perspective). Over the past years, and notably in the Americas and the Pacific Area, some anthropologists have been involved in parallel research projects aimed at documenting Indigenous mathematical knowledge, as embodied in numerical and measurement systems, techniques (such as weaving, building, etc.), or rituals and storytelling. These projects have most often been undertaken from a didactical approach, in order to produce materials for Indigenous schools/teachers.
This panel welcomes fieldwork based papers presenting research at the crossroads of anthropology and ethnomathematics, which document Indigenous mathematical knowledge and its inclusion in specific cultural patterns. It is more generally open to papers probing the heuristic value of crossing ethnographical, anthropological and ethnomathematical approaches, with a view to highlighting and analyzing—or “formalizing” with a pedagogical outlook—Indigenous mathematical knowledge.

Contributors to this Open Panel are invited to submit a title and an abstract in English (up to 500 words) of their communication proposal, as well as a short bibliography including their publications on the subject or related subjects.

Proposals should be sent before February 15, 2018 to Eric Vandendriessche <[email protected]> and Rik Pinxten <[email protected]>.
Approvals will be sent to the participants by March 15, 2018.

The duration of each presentation should be approximately 30 minutes including discussions (to be confirmed, depending on the number of participants).
To be published in the Proceedings of the Congress, the papers (written in English) should be sent to the coordinators before September 1st, 2018.

Further information on the 18th IUAES World Congress Website: