Tag: fieldwork

On Gutters and Ethnography

On Gutters and Ethnography

In a departure from more conventional communication methods in academia, I’m exploring how comics–a medium I love to read and am learning to make (thank you to my teacher in pre-pandemic times, Julian Peters!)–speak to ethnographic practice. In particular, I am wrestling with how the gutter between comics panels is something to consider in terms of ethnographic narratives. The work I refer to below is Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, which is an excellent resource for comics artists and readers alike. {+}

(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

(E)thnographic Correspondence and Collaborative Improvisation

by Joelle Powe, Thea McRae, Christina Jones and Laith A. Ayogu. This piece emerged from our experiences as a group of four students in an undergraduate anthropology methods course at Bard College, “Doing Ethnography.” In response to changing circumstances that rendered more conventional face-to-face forms of engagement—presumed by our methods curriculum—no longer possible, we undertook a collective reconstitution of our ethnographic projects, launching a (web)site as a platform for improvisation. This platform allowed us, and other contributors, to make sense of {+}

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

Home, Work, Homework, and Fieldwork

by Yukun Zeng (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) China was the first country hit by COVID-19. Due to the government-enforced Wuhan lockdown and strict self-isolation, most Chinese people—including me—have stayed at home since January, becoming pandemic spectators, both national and global: reading news, watching the case numbers waxing and waning. In this spectatorship, only macro-scale actors like governments and WHO seem to do the real work. As China’s situation has improved, and China became seen as an expert {+}

Disaster, Dystopia, and Disphony

Disaster, Dystopia, and Disphony

by Pranathi Diwakar (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) My last day of “fieldwork” was on March 14th, 2020. A chart-topping Gaana singer from the 1990s had agreed to meet with me, and what was supposed to be a casual chat ended up becoming an impromptu house concert for an audience of one—me. Gaana is a musical style that acquired prominence in 1980s Chennai with the cassette revolution, but it originated in the early 20th century as a funeral {+}

Pandemic Productivity

Pandemic Productivity

by Hanna Pickwell (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) There were two moments when it became clear that the dissertation project I had developed for four years was not going to happen in the way I had planned. The first came at the beginning of February, when I received notice that, out of concern for our safety in the wake of the first outbreak of COVID-19, the granting agency supporting my work was ordering all grantees to leave China {+}

Connecting through the Layered Traumas of Fieldwork

Connecting through the Layered Traumas of Fieldwork

By CD Green (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) Within the span of two hours on April 15, I received two coronavirus-related alerts from the Kanaky/New Caledonian news. The first was a notification about another day with zero new cases of the virus—the small Pacific island had been relatively protected up to this point. The second was an announcement: according to the Overseas Minister of France, the referendum on Kanaky/New Caledonia’s independence from France would continue as scheduled on {+}

No Longer a Field 

No Longer a Field 

by Rachel Howard (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) Suspending my fieldwork due to the COVID-19 pandemic inspired a set of questions about the nature of ethnographic research: about how it is different from other kinds of research. About how the rituals that mark our initiation into the discipline proscribe a kind of boundary-making in which the field becomes a liminal time of exception. And about how these boundaries, especially in the context of a global health emergency, disappear. {+}

Fieldwork and the Nation Under Threat: Rethinking Critique, Recentering Relationships

Fieldwork and the Nation Under Threat: Rethinking Critique, Recentering Relationships

by Josh Babcock (Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus series) Singapore emerged early as a global success story in COVID-19 containment and response, with low infection rates, stable food systems, and functional medical infrastructure. In March, the WHO commended Singapore for its swift, “all-of-society, all-of-government approach.” Media routinely referred to Singapore as a “model” and “lesson” for the world. A Trump staffer even tried to take credit for the response, and Barbara Streisand made waves after tweeting in praise of {+}

Introduction: Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus (new series)

Introduction: Fieldwork in a Time of Coronavirus (new series)

Anthrodendum welcomes guest blogger Josh Babcock. Ph.D. Candidate in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His research examines the public co-construction of language and race in the making of a multimodal image of Singapore. Fieldwork—a core dimension of ethnography—has, for generations of researchers, been seen as a necessary method in many kinds of qualitative investigations, and a rite of passage in its practitioners’ professionalization. Despite severe critique from both within and outside its host disciplines, fieldwork remains a {+}

El Cruce de la Muerte: Fieldwork and Carework at the Crossroad of Death

El Cruce de la Muerte: Fieldwork and Carework at the Crossroad of Death

Anthrodendum welcomes guest blogger Amarilys Estrella, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her research examines the role of human rights discourse in transnational activism against anti-Black racism. El Cruce de la Muerte: Fieldwork and Carework at the Crossroad of Death by Amarilys Estrella In July of 2017, one year after having moved with my family to the Dominican Republic for my dissertation research, I survived a car accident. Our car crashed {+}