kraut atlantik

media anthropology site

Archive for writing

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 »

yoko tawada on writing

linking to what dame marylin strathern recently wrote on writing (see previous posts) or bruno latour on quasi-objects – a ran across a text the japanese writer yoko tawada published in 1996. a small text on how to cope with computer keyboards, signs and words, described as a performative act of cultural production. leading through crisis, mal-operation, crossing issues such as myth and ritual, as well as epistemological issue of thinking in the interval.

Während ich schreibe, setze ich Buchstaben. Es hört sich etwas seltsam an, aber Buchstaben zu schreiben ist eine andere Tätigkeit als einen Text zu schreiben. Deshalb benutzte ich das Wort «setzen», obwohl ich keine Schriftsetzerin bin. Man setzt Buchstaben aufs Papier, damit ein Platz für die Entstehung des Textes geschaffen wird. […]
Buchstaben sehen manchmal nicht aus wie der stabile Fussboden, sondern eher wie Hindernisse, die mir im Wege stehen. Indem ich weiterschreibe, setze ich noch mehr Hindernisse. Ein unvermeidlicher Widerspruch: Ich setze Buchstaben, während ich schreibe.

tokio born yoko tawada moved to hamburg in 1982. inter alia she was honored with the adelbert von chamisso prize as well as the johan wolfgang von goethe medal. she currently lives and works in berlin.

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 »

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 »