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Archive for ethnography

dancing in the streets

not with david bowie (though i would not mind dancing with him…) but rather with an amazing, absolutely rad crowd of students & lecturers that have been attending our masterclass in novosibirsk/russia and got heavily involved with ethnographic explorations into the city and conceptualizations of urban spaces.

the workshop has just been followed by an exhibition at the academy of architecture and arts, see the blog for photographs; the gallery as such can be found here.
the whole project will be completed by a workshop lead by choreographer richard siegal and, eventually, the final performance going out dancing in the streets of novosibirsk. perhaps re-enacting the everyday, staging sth., whatever, we will have to wait for richards ideas what to do with the notations and concepts we found during the workshop!

i will soon post a little bit more about the concept and the intentions behind the project. for those multilingual ones try stadt & tanz nowosibirsk to find out more.
the course as well as the whole programm we planned around it, is initiated by the local goethe institute in cooperation with the academy of architecture and arts as well as novosibirsk state university.

thanks to anna and all of you keeping the blog up!


interviews online @ dspace

Crawling the savage minds blog I came across a link that refers to several hundert .mp4 files of interviews and thougths by Paul Rabinow, Marylin Strathern, Jean and John Comaroff amongst others at Cambridge Social Anthropology’s DSpace.
A warning goes that the files are quite big. In this case it seems that transcriptions are available. However, it is a valuable source. See the post at
savage minds or go directly to the DSpace archive

george marcus on collaboration and more

after george e. marcus repeatedly put forward his approach to concentrate on the issue of collaboration (see cultural anthropology vol 23, no. 1, 2008: 1-15) reports a brief conversation with marcus in recently in oslo and probably more interesting, a good choice of links to marcus’ work and articles. see george marcus at

my favourite on this issue, however, is Read the rest of this entry »

marilyn strathern on writing

there has always been much ado on how to write in the field of ethnography. starting up with the writing culture debate, its concern on othering, authoring and sublime rhetoric etc… a necessary reflection on what and how we write that, at its best, drags us into an agora, where the author has become a cacophonous creature, built upon a polyphony of voices, sounds, interferences, static noises and distortions. rather a lecture by stockhausen than mozart for sure.

however, even before the ethnographer / anthropologist has to face the sonic as such.
there is the writing process itself. that is, the actual part of creating articles, reviews, essays or even books. it often seems as if science has its rules and structures, which just need to be filled. that’s it.
but thats not. blood, sweat and low self-esteem at its worst.
the very fact that this doesn’t work out that easily most of the time is pinned down in a beautiful little essay by dame marilyn strathern Read the rest of this entry »

dancing with the tribes. on the internet.

so admittedly, this little thingy is being posted all over right now. nevertheless it is fab, fun and worthwhile watching.

michael welsch is assistant professor at kansas state university and he explores the internet. by means of participant observation. so this might be a nice past time to get into methodology, the way online media asks for.

and whatever cool story you heard about dancing kids, hugging strangers or cruel music travelling the world, numa numa, here we go… Read the rest of this entry »

ethnographies can do

am rande auch zum thema ethnography vs. anthropology, mehr aber zu der frage, was eine ethnographie leisten kann. in diesem fall eine wunderbare darstellung der latour’schen actor-network-theorie / des politschen denkansatzes. und das ganz ohne schweres begriffsgewitter. stattdessen vermittels einer klaren, wenn auch komplexen ethnographischen beschreibung der ding-politik an der nordsee küste. die goldene ringelgansfeder, von werner krauss, basiert auf einer mehrjährigen feldforschung an der nordseeküste und untersucht atmosphären der demokratie, wie es im artikel selbst heißt.

Read the rest of this entry »

ethnography vs. anthropology

John Postill recently posted Tim Ingold’s Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, held on 14 March 2007 at the British Academy, a pretty interesting piece on the issue. See media anthropology

Anthropology has been shrinking. Once an inclusive inquiry into the conditions of human life, it has increasingly turned inwards on itself. One reason for this shrinkage lies in the identification of anthropology with ethnography. Such identification leads us to think of observation as a means to the end of description. The lecturer will aim to show, to the contrary, how description not just literary but graphic and performative – can be re-embedded in observation. Overturning the relation between observation and description will enhance anthropology”s potential to engage with biology, psychology and archaeology on the great questions of the origins and destiny of humankind.

Professor Timothy Ingold, FBA, University of Aberdeen

complete lecture available at british academy (audio) and here as a .pdf file