Methods and Ethnography

OK, asked for references twice in two days on the same thing, so started thinking what I might reread if I was going to think about methods and ethnography now:

Mitchell Duneier, “Sidewalk” – a thoughtful study of magazine vendors in New York. A bit too worthy and street, but some good stuff on doubt.

James Agee and Walker Evans; “Let us now praise famous men” – if you have not read it, get this first. Simply great. (Try to get the Violette edition, hard back, not the penguin classics ed – though that has an essay by Goldsmiths own Blake Morrison).

Michel Serres; “The Troubadour of Knowledge” – Serres is unique, thinks through parables, does not refernce, says he does not repeat. Makes stuff up, each line a gem. Dunno what its like in French!

Claude Levi-Strauss; “Tristes Tropiques” – speaking of the French – died at 101 last year. This is the classic. Then read part 2 of Derrida’s “Of Grammatology”.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; “Death of A Discipline” – between the lines of a lament for the cold war area experts who have become extinct, a plea for deep language learning that is more than just grammar.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; ‘Righting Wrongs’ from “Other Asias”.

Avital Ronell; “The Test Drive” – Ronell is perhaps the only living American currently possessed by genius, besides Gore Vidal, and she wears great hats.

Michel Foucault; “The Archeology of Knowledge” and “The Order of Things” – never to be forgotten.

Mao Zedong; ‘Report from Hunan’ in “Selected Writings Volume One”. Mao does fieldwork!

Michael Taussig; “My Cocaine Museum” – a latter day arcades for the war torn, drug crazed, exploited and exploiting realm that is now.

Klaus Peter Koepping; “Shattering Frames” – his collected essays on anthropology, a great teacher.

Rao/Hutnyk eds; “Celebrating Transgression” – essays in honour of Klaus Peter Koepping, with my mad musings on William Burroughs included.

Wolff, Kurt; “Surrender and Catch” – not well enough known but worth a look – was Prof at Brandies from 1959 – 1992.

More to come.

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Comments

  • Ish  On 14/07/2010 at 21:17

    How about these two books? You may find some interesting discussions.

    1. Joan Vincent eds. The Anthropology of Politics: A Reader in Ethnography, Theory, and Critique

    2. Michael Burawoy eds. Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World

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    • john hutnyk  On 14/07/2010 at 21:39

      No, cannot include these because they actually mention ethnography and anthropology in their titles, therefore ruled out of bounds! :) – hope you are having a summer. Just getting down to some reading and maybe writing.

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  • Paje  On 14/07/2010 at 23:39

    Fernando Ortiz – Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar, Duke University Press, 1995

    “Ortiz presents his understanding of Cuban history in two complementary sections written in contrasting styles: a playful allegorical tale narrated as a counterpoint between tobacco and sugar and a historical analysis of their development as the central agricultural products of the Cuban economy. Treating tobacco and sugar both as agricultural commodities and as social characters in a historical process, he examines changes in their roles as the result of transculturation.”

    http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=1332

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  • john hutnyk  On 15/07/2010 at 11:12

    Adorno says, worryingly or reassuringly I am not sure, that it is “when scholars don’t know what is going on that they start to talk about method”. :)

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