W008
The self as ethnographic resource

Convenors:
Anselma Gallinat (Newcastle University)
Peter Collins (Durham University)
Chair:
Peter Collins and Anselma Gallinat
Discussant:
Vered Amit
Location:
Dept. Arch Anth LT2
Start time:
20 September, 2006 at 17:00
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

The workshop is concerned with the question of the anthropologist's experience as a source of ethnographic data. It asks how we may engage our own memories explicitly and systematically in the doing and writing of ethnography.

Long abstract:

The workshop is concerned with the question of the anthropologist's experience as a source of ethnographic data. It is widely recognised that we call on our personal experiences in doing and writing ethnography. Self-reflexivity requires us to engage with the impact our own self may have on what we do and how we interpret what we observe. Yet, personal experience and memory, as resources, are involved further in ethnography. Ethnographers arrive in the field with memories of their own, they have experiences which produce further memories which they go on to deploy, more or less self-consciously, when writing ethnography. <br/>The workshop will move beyond discussions of self-reflexivity to ask how we may engage our own experience and memories more explicitly and systematically in the doing and writing of ethnography. We start with the premise that the inclusion of the personal experience of the anthropologist as one voice among others can be of great benefit to the ethnographic endeavour. However, to conceive of the ethnographer as a potential informant raises important methodological and theoretical questions about both ethnography and anthropology which we intend to address. <br/>The papers presented during the workshop will explore important issues directly relating to the construction of what we might call integrative ethnography, including authenticity and representation, memory, ethics and honesty, revelation, the emotions and writing.