Many anthropologists return to their original fieldwork sites a number of times during their careers, but this experience has seldom been subjected to analytic and theoretical scrutiny. The contributors to Returns to the Field have all undertaken multitemporal fieldwork-repeated visits to the same place-over periods ranging from 20 to 40 years among minority groups in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Melanesia. Over the years of contact, these anthropologists have witnessed dramatic changes, but also the perseverance of the people they have worked with. In vivid and personal essays, the authors examine the ramifications of this type of fieldwork practice-the kind of knowledge it produces, what methodological tools are appropriate, and how relationships with people in the field site change over time.
Signe Howell is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. She is author of The Kinning of Foreigners: Transnational Adoption in a Global Perspective; The Ethnography of Moralities; Societies at Peace: An Anthropological Perspective; and Society and Cosmos: Chewong of Peninsular Malaysia. Aud Talle (1944-2011) was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and author of The Power of Culture: Female Circumcision as Tradition and Taboo (in Norwegian) and Women at a Loss: Changes in Maasai Pastoralism and Their Effects on Gender Relations.
Preface Introduction \ Signe Howell and Aud Talle Part 1. Change and Continuity in Long-term Perspective 1. Forty-five Years with the Kayapo \ Terence Turner 2. "Soon we will be spending all our time at funerals": Yolngu Mortuary Rituals in an Epoch of Constant Change \ Frances Morphy and Howard Morphy 3. Returns to the Maasai: Long-term Fieldwork and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge \ Aud Talle 4. Contingency, Collaboration, and the Unimagined over Thirty-five Years of Ethnography \ David Holmberg 5. Nostalgia and Neocolonialism \ Peter Metcalf Part 2. Expansion in Time, Expansion in Space 6. Cumulative Understandings: Experiences from the Study of Two Southeast Asian Societies \ Signe Howell 7. Repeated Returns and Special Friends: From Mythic Encounter to Shared History \ Piers Vitebsky 8. Compressed Globalization and Expanding Desires in Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands \ Edvard Hviding 9. Widening the Net: Returns to the Field and Regional Understanding \ Alan Barnard Afterword: Reflecting on Returns to the Field \ Bruce Knauft List of Contributors Index