This volume examines some crucial issues in the conduct of fieldwork and ethnography and provides new insights into the problems of constructing anthropological knowledge. How is anthropological knowledge created from fieldwork, whose knowledge is this, who determines what is of significance in any ethnographic context, and how is the fieldsite extended in both time and place? Nine anthropologists examine these problems, drawing on diverse case studies. These range from the dilemmas of the religious refashioning of the ethnographer in contemporary Indonesia to the embodied knowledge of ballet performers, and from ignorance about post-colonial ritual innovations by the anthropologist in highland Papua to the skilled visions of slow food producers in Italy. It is a key text for new fieldworkers as much as for established researchers. The anthropological insights developed here are of interdisciplinary relevance: cultural studies scholars, sociologists and historians will be as interested as anthropologists in this re-evaluation of fieldwork and the project of ethnography.
Eric Hirsch is a Reader in Social Anthropology at Brunel University. He has conducted research in Papua New Guinea and Greater London. His most recent book is the co-edited Transactions and Creations: Property Debates and the Stimulus of Melanesia (Berghahn, 2004). Judith Okely, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, Hull University, is Deputy Director of the International Gender Studies Centre and Research Associate, School of Anthropology, Oxford University. She co-edited Anthropology and Autobiography (1992) and is researching Anthropological Practice. Other publications include The Traveller-Gypsies (1983), Own or Other Culture (1996) and (co-ed)Identity and Networks (2007).
Introduction: Experiencing the Ethnographic Present: Knowing through 'Crisis' Narmala Halstead Chapter 1. Knowing, Not Knowing, Knowing Anew Eric Hirsch Chapter 2. The Transformation of Indigenous Knowledge into Anthropological Knowledge: Whose Knowledge Is It? David P. Crandall Chapter 3. Knowing without Notes Judith Okely Chapter 4. To Know the Dancer: Formations of Fieldwork in the Ballet World Helena Wulff Chapter 5. Knowledge as Gifts of Self and Other Narmala Halstead Chapter 6. Knowledge from the Body: Fieldwork, Power and the Acquisition of a New Self Konstantinos Retsikas Chapter 7. What is Sacred about that Pile of Stones at Mt Tendong? Serendipity, Complicity and Circumstantial Activism in the Production of Anthropological Knowledge of Sikkim, India Vibha Arora Chapter 8. Learning to See: World-views, Skilled Visions, Skilled Practice Cristina Grasseni Chapter 9. Rescuing Theory from the Nation Viranjini Munasinghe Notes on Contributors Index