As anthropologist Kirin Narayan put to readers of her book Alive in the Writing, the creative process of ethnographic writing can grow from ‘the impulse to find company amid the often isolating and difficult aspects of writing’. In ethnographic writing, we need to somehow re-galvanise our fieldwork experiences that are now in the past.
At what point does a moment of mutual intimacy become intrusive, or even violent? As ethnographers, we strive to learn the dance of our participants; we follow their lead as they generously guide us through their worlds. That dancing can be enthralling and as intense as it is intimate, and it can also invite unintentional violence.
There’s anthropological spirit in investigative journalism that anthropologists could better acknowledge. Regardless of whether it has a anthropology qualification attached or it is embedded in complex cultural theory, it is something that sparks thinking about the ‘other’; the ‘strange’.
This track has been removed. Please read the blog post Lizzy wrote to accompany this conversation: "Why #metoo is complicated for female anthropologists." “I knew I was making myself vulnerable, but I also knew that there was phone reception down there, and there were other people within shouting range, and that I had a weapon … Continue reading Ep. #9 Calculated risk: Elizabeth Watt talks sexual power, politics, and vulnerability in the field