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Accueil > Projets de recherche financés en cours > Projet ETKnoS > Evénements

Evénements

PROJET ETKnoS : ENCODER ET TRANSMETTRE DES SAVOIRS AVEC UNE FICELLE :
ÉTUDE COMPARÉE DES USAGES CULTURELS DE PRATIQUES MATHÉMATIQUES DANS LA RÉALISATION DE FIGURES DE FIL (OCÉANIE, AMÉRIQUE DU NORD, AMÉRIQUE DU SUD)


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Investigating string figure making practices : ethnomathematical, anthropological, and technical approaches


ANR ETKnoS International Workshop
May 24-26, 2018


 !! Change of location, the workshop will not take place in Room Kandinsky, 631B !!


May 24th and 25th : bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, 3e étage, salle 311

May 26th : bâtiment Halle aux farines, 3e étage, aile F, salle 376

Campus map with access.


Thursday 24, May 2018 :

9h30-13h00 :

  • Eric Vandendriessche : Introduction
  • Philip D. Noble (Independent Researcher) : String figure - A wider perspective
  • Coffee break
  • Stephan Claassen (Independent Researcher) : Two-player string figures : classification, distribution, representation, improvisation, fun

    14h30-18h :
  • Joseph D’Antoni (Independent Researcher) : Reconstructing a string figure when the method of its manufacture is unknown
  • Coffee break
  • Practice-based session and film screening

Friday 25, May 2018 :

9h30-13h00 :

  • Robyn McKenzie (ANU) : Yirrkala string figure style : a Yolngu feeling for string
  • Coffee break
  • Darja Hoenigman (SPHERE, ANU) : Studying string figures in Papua New Guinea : traces and trajectories

    14h30-18h :
  • Céline Petit (SPHERE) : String figure-making as a means to relate and "relate to" in Inuit culture : social significance and symbolic efficacy
  • Coffee break
  • Agnès Henri (INALCO-LACITO), Céline Petit et Eric Vandendriessche (SPHERE) : Overview of the research methodology used for the ETKnoS project

Saturday 26, May 2018 :

9h30-12h30 :

  • Eric Vandendriessche (SPHERE, CNRS) : Modelling tools for investigating the (ethno-)mathematical aspects of string figure making practices
  • Coffee break
  • General discussion


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  • Philip D. Noble (Independent Researcher)

String figure - A wider perspective

The history of string figure recording owes a great debt to the Rivers and Haddon detailed step by step recording process. However their commitment to medical terminology (using terms such as radial, ulnar, distal proximal) to ensure precise and accurate description of the way the fingers hands and arms move cannot capture the actual lively process of string figure construction. String figures simply recorded and mounted on card may be likened to butterflies pinned to a board. Useful for the comparative scientific study of patterns and family resemblances but lacking life and action. To watch an expert string figure player who has internalized and memorized the making process, demonstrate with graceful flow of movement, is a poetic experience. Not only most of the body is involved but glances and facial expressions draw others into the experience. The string figure repertoire of any specific cultural group appears to become relatively fixed when a number of figures have been developed, named and repeatedly demonstrated. However the role of independent creativity may have been underplayed in string figure discovery and design. In the hands of a curious individual the creative potential that lies in a loop of string is much greater than has been generally recognized. By specifically paying attention to whole body movements and crucially the interaction amongst those present in the making process, a greater understanding may be gained of the intangible elements involved in string figure formation. The vital process of making and interacting is fundamental to understanding string figure construction. Such thorough knowledge of this activity gives deeper insight, not only of local cultures, but of the elusive nature of what it means to be creatively alive. Such information is largely inaccessible through any formal methodology. The sheer pleasure of the fluidity of the movements performed is one of the main attractions of string figure making as well as the joyful expressions all round when the final figure appears between the hands and shown to others.

  • Stephan Claassen (Independent Researcher)

Two-player string figures : classification, distribution, representation, improvisation, fun

A provisional classification of two-player string figures and games is presented. A quick scan of their distribution around the world shows that particular types of games are more current in certain parts of the world. How could this be explained What do two-player games represent ? Is this different from one-player figures ? What is the role of improvisation ? This is explored by actually making and improvising a few two-player games and series.

  • Joseph D’Antoni (Independent researcher)

Reconstructing a string figure when the method of its manufacture is unknown

This exploration describes the process of recording the steps needed to dissolve a string figure to the unknot, then recovering that string figure by reversing those steps.

  • Robyn McKenzie (School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, The Australian National University-ANU)

Yirrkala string figure style : a Yolngu feeling for string

My recently completed Doctoral thesis ‘One continuous loop : making and meaning in the string figures of Yirrkala’, explores the history and contemporary significance of a collection of 192 mounted string figures in the Australian Museum in Sydney, collected in north-east Arnhem Land in 1948. The Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, was a particular focus for the collecting of string figure designs from Indigenous peoples by anthropologists in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. In this paper I discuss how I use the formulation of regional traits based on this history of collecting, to construct a stylistic analysis or understanding of the Yirrkala repertoire.The visual patterns of string figure designs are formed as the result of a series of movements or manipulations of the string by the maker/s. Regional differences in techniques used and the types of pattern made, can be seen to index characteristically different bodily ‘motor habits’ or ‘ways of doing things’. Following a general description of the attributes of the Yirrkala repertoire, I explore the technical basis of its unique ‘excessive twists’, illustrating this stylistic trait using historical and contemporary film footage.

  • Darja Hoenigman (SPHERE, Paris Diderot University, ANU)

Studying string figures in Papua New Guinea : traces and trajectories

In this talk I will give a brief overview of the literature dealing with string-figure making in Papua New Guinea, with an emphasis on some of the less known accounts of the subject, which appear as parts of ethnographies, and explain string figures through local cosmology. I will then present the questions that will guide my research in the upcoming fieldtrip, and welcome the participants’ feedback.

  • Céline Petit (SPHERE) :

String figure-making as a means to relate and "relate to" in Inuit culture : social significance and symbolic efficacy

Drawing both on the review of ethnographic literature relating to string figure-making as performed within various societies of the "Inuit area" and on personal fieldwork carried out among Inuit groups of the Canadian Eastern Arctic in the past decades, this paper will present some data suggesting how such a practice pertained to a system of memorization and transmission of knowledge, while being a means to "connect" with ancestors and re-enact former relationships between human and non-human beings.Vernacular statements referring to the figurative properties of "string games" will be more particularly considered, before discussing further various expressions of the symbolic effects associated with string figure-making in Inuit cosmology.

  • Agnès Henri (INALCO-LACITO), Céline Petit et Eric Vandendriessche (SPHERE)

Overview of the research methodology used for the ETKnoS project

- Fieldwork methodology and collecting tools (Céline Petit)
- Reflections upon the collection and analysis of data from a linguistic perspective (Agnès Henri)
- Building a database both for analytical and pedagogical purposes : an insight into the process (Eric Vandendriessche and Céline Petit).

  • Eric Vandendriessche (SPHERE, CNRS & Paris Diderot University)

Modelling tools for investigating (ethno-)mathematical aspects of string figure making practices

Recent works in ethnomathematics have demonstrated that the creation of string figures can be analyzed as the result of intellectual processes, involving the elaboration of algorithms, and concepts such as operation, sub-procedure, iteration, and transformation. In 1988, American mathematician Thomas Storer (1938-2006) published a long article in which he developed several formal approaches of string figure-making. One of these is the “Heart-sequence”. Passing the string around a finger forms a “loop”. The point is then to focus, during the process, on the movements of the loops without taking into account the way the fingers operate on them, and to convert these movements into a mathematical formula. In this session, we will see that recent development of this mathematical approach to string figure algorithms enables us to gain a better understanding of phenomena which often occur in string figure corpora (such as procedures leading to lookalike patterns, transformations of a figure into another…). Finally, I will argue that developing such mathematical modelling is a promising way to retrace and study comparatively the processes through which practitioners from different societies have elaborated string figure procedures.


**********************************************


17 octobre 2016

  • Présentation du projet ETKnoS lors de la Journée de lancement des projets ANR "Culture et Patrimoine" 2016 (CE27-Appel à Projets Générique), ANR, Paris


26 mai 2017

  • Workshop "The implementation of local mathematical practices into the mathematics curriculum", Université Paris Diderot [voir ci-dessous]





N° ANR-16-CE27-0005-01, 2016–2020

The implementation of local mathematical practices into the mathematics curriculum

Workshop of the Project ETKnoS

26 mai 2017, Université Paris Diderot.


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