Crumpled Paper Boat

Experiments in Ethnographic Writing
Author: Anand Pandian,Stuart McLean
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822373262
Category: Social Science
Page: 264
View: 7260

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Crumpled Paper Boat is a book of experimental ventures in ethnographic writing, an exploration of the possibilities of a literary anthropology. These original essays from notable writers in the field blur the boundaries between ethnography and genres such as poetry, fiction, memoir, and cinema. They address topics as diverse as ritual expression in Cuba and madness in a Moroccan city, the HIV epidemic in South Africa and roadkill in suburban America. Essays alternate with methodological reflections on fundamental problems of writerly heritage, craft, and responsibility in anthropology. Crumpled Paper Boat engages writing as a creative process of encounter, a way of making and unmaking worlds, and a material practice no less participatory and dynamic than fieldwork itself. These talented writers show how inventive, appealing, and intellectually adventurous prose can allow us to enter more profoundly into the lives and worlds of others, breaking with conventional notions of representation and subjectivity. They argue that such experimentation is essential to anthropology’s role in the contemporary world, and one of our most powerful means of engaging it. Contributors. Daniella Gandolfo, Angela Garcia, Tobias Hecht, Michael Jackson, Adrie Kusserow, Stuart McLean, Todd Ramón Ochoa, Anand Pandian, Stefania Pandolfo, Lisa Stevenson, Kathleen Stewart A School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar

I Swear I Saw This

Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own
Author: Michael Taussig
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226789845
Category: Social Science
Page: 192
View: 1419

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I Swear I Saw This records visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig’s reflections on the fieldwork notebooks he kept through forty years of travels in Colombia. Taking as a starting point a drawing he made in Medellin in 2006—as well as its caption, “I swear I saw this”—Taussig considers the fieldwork notebook as a type of modernist literature and the place where writers and other creators first work out the imaginative logic of discovery. Notebooks mix the raw material of observation with reverie, juxtaposed, in Taussig’s case, with drawings, watercolors, and newspaper cuttings, which blend the inner and outer worlds in a fashion reminiscent of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs’s surreal cut-up technique. Focusing on the small details and observations that are lost when writers convert their notes into finished pieces, Taussig calls for new ways of seeing and using the notebook as form. Memory emerges as a central motif in I Swear I Saw This as he explores his penchant to inscribe new recollections in the margins or directly over the original entries days or weeks after an event. This palimpsest of afterthoughts leads to ruminations on Freud’s analysis of dreams, Proust’s thoughts on the involuntary workings of memory, and Benjamin’s theories of history—fieldwork, Taussig writes, provokes childhood memories with startling ease. I Swear I Saw This exhibits Taussig’s characteristic verve and intellectual audacity, here combined with a revelatory sense of intimacy. He writes, “drawing is thus a depicting, a hauling, an unraveling, and being impelled toward something or somebody.” Readers will exult in joining Taussig once again as he follows the threads of a tangled skein of inspired associations.

Video Ethnography in Practice

Planning, Shooting, and Editing for Social Analysis
Author: Wesley Shrum,Greg Scott
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483377237
Category: Social Science
Page: 160
View: 2471

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Video Ethnography in Practice is a brief guide for students in the social disciplines who are required to produce an ethnographic video, the most significant new methodological technique in 21st century social analysis. It shows students at any level how to plan, shoot, and edit their own ethnographic videos within three weeks using desktop technology and widely available software.

Fictionalizing Anthropology

Encounters and Fabulations at the Edges of the Human
Author: Stuart J. McLean
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452955689
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 530

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What might become of anthropology if it were to suspend its sometime claims to be a social science? What if it were to turn instead to exploring its affinities with art and literature as a mode of engaged creative practice carried forward in a world heterogeneously composed of humans and other than humans? Stuart McLean claims that anthropology stands to learn most from art and literature not as “evidence” to support explanations based on an appeal to social context or history but as modes of engagement with the materiality of expressive media—including language—that always retain the capacity to disrupt or exceed the human projects enacted through them. At once comparative in scope and ethnographically informed, Fictionalizing Anthropology draws on an eclectic range of sources, including ancient Mesopotamian myth, Norse saga literature, Hesiod, Lucretius, Joyce, Artaud, and Lispector, as well as film, multimedia, and performance art, along with the concept of “fabulation” (the making of fictions capable of intervening in and transforming reality) developed in the writings of Bergson and Deleuze. Sharing with proponents of anthropology’s recent “ontological turn,” McLean insists that experiments with language and form are a performative means of exploring alternative possibilities of collective existence, new ways of being human and other than human, and that such experiments must therefore be indispensable to anthropology’s engagement with the contemporary world.

A Different Kind of Ethnography

Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies
Author: Denielle Elliott,Dara Culhane
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442636610
Category: Social Science
Page: 160
View: 4416

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"Produced by members of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography, this collection introduces the idea of an imaginative and creative approach to anthropological inquiry, one that is collaborative, open-ended, embodied, affective, and experimental. Rather than structuring the book around traditional methods like interviewing, participant observation, and documentary research, the authors organize their thoughts around different methodologies--sensing, walking, writing, performing, and recording. As well, innovative, practical exercises are included that allow ethnographers to not just 'talk the talk', but also 'walk the walk' so they can deepen, complicate, and extend ethnographic inquiry. A list of additional resources at the end of each chapter provide rich support for those who want to pursue more imaginative and creative methodologies."--

The Value of Comparison


Author: Peter van der Veer
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822374226
Category: Social Science
Page: 208
View: 5095

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In The Value of Comparison Peter van der Veer makes a compelling case for using comparative approaches in the study of society and for the need to resist the simplified civilization narratives popular in public discourse and some social theory. He takes the quantitative social sciences and the broad social theories they rely on to task for their inability to question Western cultural presuppositions, demonstrating that anthropology's comparative approach provides a better means to understand societies. This capacity stems from anthropology's engagement with diversity, its fragmentary approach to studying social life, and its ability to translate difference between cultures. Through essays on topics as varied as iconoclasm, urban poverty, Muslim immigration, and social exclusion van der Veer highlights the ways that studying the particular and the unique allows for gaining a deeper knowledge of the whole without resorting to simple generalizations that elide and marginalize difference.

The Composition of Anthropology

How Anthropological Texts Are Written
Author: Morten Nielsen,Nigel Rapport
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315460238
Category: Social Science
Page: 202
View: 4058

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How do anthropologists write their texts? What is the nature of creativity in the discipline of anthropology? This book follows anthropologists into spaces where words, ideas and arguments take shape and explores the steps in a creative process. In a unique examination of how texts come to be composed, the editors bring together a distinguished group of anthropologists who offer valuable insight into their writing habits. These reflexive glimpses into personal creativity reveal not only the processes by which theory and ethnography come, in particular cases, to be represented on the page but also supply examples that students may follow or adapt.

Thin Description


Author: John L. Jackson Jr.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674727347
Category: Social Science
Page: 404
View: 8665

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The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem are often dismissed as a fringe cult for their beliefs that African Americans are descendants of the ancient Israelites and that veganism leads to immortality. But John L. Jackson questions what "fringe" means in a world where cultural practices of every stripe circulate freely on the Internet. In this poignant and sophisticated examination of the limits of ethnography, the reader is invited into the visionary, sometimes vexing world of the AHIJ. Jackson challenges what Clifford Geertz called the "thick description" of anthropological research through a multidisciplinary investigation of how the AHIJ use media and technology to define their public image in the twenty-first century. Moving beyond the "modest witness" of nineteenth-century scientific discourse or the "thick descriptions" of twentieth-century anthropology, Jackson insists that Geertzian thickness is impossible, especially in a world where the anthropologist's subjects craft their own self-ethnographies and critically consume the ethnographer's offerings. Taking as its topic a group situated along the fault lines of several diasporas--African, American, Jewish--Thin Description provides an account of how race, religion, and ethnographic representation must be understood anew in the twenty-first century, lest we reenact old mistakes in the study of black humanity.

Existential Anthropology

Events, Exigencies and Effects
Author: Michael Jackson
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845451226
Category: Social Science
Page: 216
View: 904

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Inspired by existential thought, but using ethnographic methods, Jackson explores a variety of compelling topics, including 9/11, episodes from the war in Sierra Leone and its aftermath, the marginalization of indigenous Australians, the application of new technologies, mundane forms of ritualization, the magical use of language, the sociality of violence, the prose of suffering, and the discourse of human rights. Throughout this compelling work, Jackson demonstrates that existentialism, far from being a philosophy of individual being, enables us to explore issues of social existence and coexistence in new ways, and to theorise events as the sites of a dynamic interplay between the finite possibilities of the situations in which human beings find themselves and the capacities they yet possess for creating viable forms of social life.

Being Ethnographic

A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Ethnography
Author: Raymond Madden
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1526416832
Category: Social Science
Page: 224
View: 1591

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Being Ethnographic is an essential introductory guidebook to the methods and applications of doing fieldwork in real-world settings. It discusses the future of ethnography, explores how we understand identity, and sets out the role of technology in a global, networked society. Driven by classic and anecdotal case studies, Being Ethnographic highlights the challenges introduced by the ethnographers' own interests, biases and ideologies and demonstrates the importance of methodological reflexivity. Addressing both the why and how questions of doing ethnography well, Madden demonstrates how both theory and practice can work together to produce insights into the human condition. This fully updated second edition includes: New material on intersubjectivity Information on digital inscription tools A practical guide to qualitative analysis software New coverage of cyberethnography and social media Expanded information on ethnographic possibilities with animals Filled with invaluable advice for applying ethnographic principles in the field, it will give researchers across social sciences everything they need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

The Bohemian South

Creating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk
Author: Shawn Chandler Bingham,Lindsey A. Freeman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469631687
Category: Social Science
Page: 360
View: 2188

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From the southern influence on nineteenth-century New York to the musical legacy of late-twentieth-century Athens, Georgia, to the cutting-edge cuisines of twenty-first-century Asheville, North Carolina, the bohemian South has long contested traditional views of the region. Yet, even as the fruits of this creative South have famously been celebrated, exported, and expropriated, the region long was labeled a cultural backwater. This timely and illuminating collection uses bohemia as a novel lens for reconsidering more traditional views of the South. Exploring wide-ranging locales, such as Athens, Austin, Black Mountain College, Knoxville, Memphis, New Orleans, and North Carolina's Research Triangle, each essay challenges popular interpretations of the South, while highlighting important bohemian sub- and countercultures. The Bohemian South provides an important perspective in the New South as an epicenter for progress, innovation, and experimentation. Contributors include Scott Barretta, Shawn Chandler Bingham, Jaime Cantrell, Jon Horne Carter, Alex Sayf Cummings, Lindsey A. Freeman, Grace E. Hale, Joanna Levin, Joshua Long, Daniel S. Margolies, Chris Offutt, Zandria F. Robinson, Allen Shelton, Daniel Cross Turner, Zackary Vernon, and Edward Whitley.

Drawn to See

Drawing as an Ethnographic Method
Author: Andrew Causey
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442636688
Category: Social Science
Page: 176
View: 462

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In this meditation/how-to guide on drawing as an ethnographic method, Andrew Causey offers insights, inspiration, practical techniques, and encouragement for social scientists interested in exploring drawing as a way of translating what they "see" during their research.

Unfinished

The Anthropology of Becoming
Author: João Biehl,Peter Locke
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822372452
Category: Social Science
Page: 400
View: 1837

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This original, field-changing collection explores the plasticity and unfinishedness of human subjects and lifeworlds, advancing the conceptual terrain of an anthropology of becoming. People's becomings trouble and exceed ways of knowing and acting, producing new possibilities for research, methodology, and writing. The contributors creatively bridge ethnography and critical theory in a range of worlds on the edge, from war and its aftermath, economic transformation, racial inequality, and gun violence to religiosity, therapeutic markets, animal rights activism, and abrupt environmental change. Defying totalizing analytical schemes, these visionary essays articulate a human science of the uncertain and unknown and restore a sense of movement and possibility to ethics and political practice. Unfinished invites readers to consider the array of affects, ideas, forces, and objects that shape contemporary modes of existence and future horizons, opening new channels for critical thought and creative expression. Contributors. Lucas Bessire, João Biehl, Naisargi N. Dave, Elizabeth A. Davis, Michael M. J. Fischer, Angela Garcia, Peter Locke, Adriana Petryna, Bridget Purcell, Laurence Ralph, Lilia M. Schwarcz

Reel World

An Anthropology of Creation
Author: Anand Pandian
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822375168
Category: Social Science
Page: 360
View: 4196

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Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.

The Moral Neoliberal

Welfare and Citizenship in Italy
Author: Andrea Muehlebach
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226545415
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 3312

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Morality is often imagined to be at odds with capitalism and its focus on the bottom line, but in The Moral Neoliberal morality is shown as the opposite: an indispensible tool for capitalist transformation. Set within the shifting landscape of neoliberal welfare reform in the Lombardy region of Italy, Andrea Muehlebach tracks the phenomenal rise of voluntarism in the wake of the state’s withdrawal of social service programs. Using anthropological tools, she shows how socialist volunteers are interpreting their unwaged labor as an expression of social solidarity, with Catholic volunteers thinking of theirs as an expression of charity and love. Such interpretations pave the way for a mass mobilization of an ethical citizenry that is put to work by the state. Visiting several sites across the region, from Milanese high schools to the offices of state social workers to the homes of the needy, Muehlebach mounts a powerful argument that the neoliberal state nurtures selflessness in order to cement some of its most controversial reforms. At the same time, she also shows how the insertion of such an anticapitalist narrative into the heart of neoliberalization can have unintended consequences.

Behold the Black Caiman

A Chronicle of Ayoreo Life
Author: Lucas Bessire
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022617560X
Category: Social Science
Page: 296
View: 2682

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In 2004, one of the world’s last bands of voluntarily isolated nomads left behind their ancestral life in the dwindling thorn forests of northern Paraguay, fleeing ranchers’ bulldozers. Behold the Black Caiman is Lucas Bessire’s intimate chronicle of the journey of this small group of Ayoreo people, the terrifying new world they now face, and the precarious lives they are piecing together against the backdrop of soul-collecting missionaries, humanitarian NGOs, late liberal economic policies, and the highest deforestation rate in the world. Drawing on ten years of fieldwork, Bessire highlights the stark disconnect between the desperate conditions of Ayoreo life for those out of the forest and the well-funded global efforts to preserve those Ayoreo still living in it. By showing how this disconnect reverberates within Ayoreo bodies and minds, his reflexive account takes aim at the devastating consequences of our society’s continued obsession with the primitive and raises important questions about anthropology’s potent capacity to further or impede indigenous struggles for sovereignty. The result is a timely update to the classic literary ethnographies of South America, a sustained critique of the so-called ontological turn—one of anthropology’s hottest trends—and, above all, an urgent call for scholars and activists alike to rethink their notions of difference.

The Wherewithal of Life

Ethics, Migration, and the Question of Well-Being
Author: Michael Jackson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520956818
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 3904

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The Wherewithal of Life engages with current developments in the anthropology of ethics and migration studies to explore in empirical depth and detail the life experiences of three young men – a Ugandan migrant in Copenhagen, a Burkina Faso migrant in Amsterdam, and a Mexican migrant in Boston – in ways that significantly broaden our understanding of the existential situations and ethical dilemmas of those migrating from the global south. Michael Jackson offers the first biographically based phenomenological account of migration and mobility, providing new insights into the various motives, tactics, dilemmas, dreams, and disappointments that characterize contemporary migration. It is argued that the quandaries of African or Mexican migrants are not unique to people moving between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ worlds. While more intensely felt by the young, seeking to find a way out of a world of limited opportunity and circumscribed values, the experiences of transition are familiar to us all, whatever our age, gender, ethnicity or social status – namely, the impossibility of calculating what one may lose in leaving a settled life or home place; what one may gain by risking oneself in an alien environment; the difficulty of striking a balance between personal fulfillment and the moral claims of kinship; and the struggle to know the difference between ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ utopias (the first reasonable and worth pursuing; the second hopelessly unattainable).

The Mana of Mass Society


Author: William Mazzarella
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022643639X
Category: Social Science
Page: 224
View: 3161

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We often invoke the “magic” of mass media to describe seductive advertising or charismatic politicians. In The Mana of Mass Society, William Mazzarella asks what happens to social theory if we take that idea seriously. How would it change our understanding of publicity, propaganda, love, and power? Mazzarella reconsiders the concept of “mana,” which served in early anthropology as a troubled bridge between “primitive” ritual and the fascination of mass media. Thinking about mana, Mazzarella shows, means rethinking some of our most fundamental questions: What powers authority? What in us responds to it? Is the mana that animates an Aboriginal ritual the same as the mana that energizes a revolutionary crowd, a consumer public, or an art encounter? At the intersection of anthropology and critical theory, The Mana of Mass Society brings recent conversations around affect, sovereignty, and emergence into creative contact with classic debates on religion, charisma, ideology, and aesthetics.

Between Matter and Method

Encounters In Anthropology and Art
Author: Gretchen Bakke,Marina Peterson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474289215
Category: Social Science
Page: 248
View: 3000

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Building on the lively exchange between anthropology and art that has emerged in recent years, Between Matter and Method makes a bold and creative contribution to this rapidly growing field. Taking an expansive approach to the arts, it finds commonalities in approaches that engage with visual artifacts, sound, performance, improvisation, literature, dance, theater, and design. The book questions current disciplinary boundaries and offers a new model grounded in a shared methodology for interdisciplinary encounter between art and anthropology. Gretchen Bakke and Marina Peterson have gathered together anthropologists whose work is notable for engaging the arts and creative practice in conceptually rigorous and methodologically innovative ways, including Kathleen Stewart, Keith Murphy, Natasha Myers, Stuart McLean, Craig Campbell, and Roger Sansi. Essays span the globe from Indonesia, West Virginia and Los Angeles in the United States, to the Orkney Islands in the UK, and Russia and Spain.

Ways of Walking

Ethnography and Practice on Foot
Author: Jo Lee Vergunst,Tim Ingold
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351873490
Category: Social Science
Page: 218
View: 7878

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Despite its importance to how humans inhabit their environments, walking has rarely received the attention of ethnographers. Ways of Walking combines discussions of embodiment, place and materiality to address this significant and largely ignored 'technique of the body'. This book presents studies of walking in a range of regional and cultural contexts, exploring the diversity of walking behaviours and the variety of meanings these can embody. As an original collection of ethnographic work that is both coherent in design and imaginative in scope, this primarily anthropological book includes contributions from geographers, sociologists and specialists in education and architecture, offering insights into human movement, landscape and social life. With its interdisciplinary nature and truly international appeal, Ways of Walking will be of interest to scholars across a range of social sciences, as well as to policy makers on both local and national levels.