A shaft of afternoon light began to stream through the window of the clinic room. Observing the light reflected in my eyes, she now saw in them the “Holy Spirit”. Assured, she said I could look at her again.
Ana provided me with generous amounts of knowledge, time, and care. She knew I was doing a doctorate, and the understanding between us was clear: her knowledge, and her story, would be at its core. Now, that isn’t going to happen. I can use her information for articles, but it doesn’t feel the same.
I was determined to make sure that I was never bored during my fieldwork. Vibrant informants and constant social interaction were to be the key to my successful defeat of apathy. And yet, when it came to the crunch, I frequently found myself bored.
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’.
Online ethnography, where researchers may never share a physical space with the participants in their research, is finding its methodological feet. Combine that with an analysis of these sorts of online media, combining intimacy, community, public speaking, and private listening, and you’ll see what makes podcasts so fascinating and potentially fruitful for anthropologists.
How do we ensure that the #metoo movements reach beyond both Hollywood’s red carpets and academia’s Ivory Towers, to areas where a shake-up is arguably most needed? How do we approach community solidarities that provide both victim and perpetrators meaning and comfort, at the same time as perpetuating the problem sexual abuse?
As I now write up my data, I’m representing people that I can no longer consult. I can only draw on the words they gave me and the unspoken elements that I observed. I would like to think that they would approve of anything I write. I know this is not, however, realistic.
There aren’t that many passions that have stuck with me since I left New York City some ten years ago. But one thing feels like home wherever I encounter it: baseball. I came to the game in the late 1990s, when the teams were great in both Queens and the Bronx. I savored Mike Piazza’s … Continue reading Searching For Home (Plate) in Indonesia
Author: Michael Rose, recently awarded his PhD from ANU. He would be thrilled to hear about any postdoc, writing or teaching opportunities that you might have going. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out his latest publication here. Dispatches from a breatharian December One weird Christmas, long before my time at the Australian National University, … Continue reading Inedia with a Grain of Salt
Anthropologists love to compare themselves to tourists. Nothing more confirms the merit of anthropology and its commitment to ‘in-depth’ fieldwork than the cultural missteps of globetrotters – especially wealthy Western ones – as they bumble through quagmires of etiquette and faux pas in the act of rubbing up against foreign cultures across the world. Anthropologists … Continue reading Ethnographers vs ‘Tourists’