Cuttings

I find it a little sad every time I’m compelled to cut a sentence that I really like because I’m the only one its effectively written for (if I don’t write for a general reader, I do write for a reader). However, kill your darlings, or as Bill Burroughs used to say ‘Get rid of it, its no damned good’. So reluctantly, dragging, screaming, I agree and jettison this:

Perhaps it took a truly internationalist perspective to grasp the connections in this project, though the costs calculation has yet to see parity. Nevertheless, despondency was transformed through a step-by-step beginning as the international comparative work gelled and collective travel was even on the cards before the 2020 pandemic ran that idea onto the rocks.

and then there a bits that the editor just can’t deal with (too messy, doesn’t fit) and they get cut too when really, with a bit more elbow grease on my part they could be polished up to make a decent case: … Robinson’s point is very well taken when she complains that acceptance rates in prominent journals are biased against Asian scholars, and pushes the expectation that they must ‘engage with (sometimes not very relevant) Western analytical concepts in order to find international publication outlets’ (2015: 193). Certainly, publication for anyone becomes difficult when the commentaries committed to the local point of view must necessarily foreground local commitments to class struggle and address the circulation of (common knowledge) rumours naming extrajudicial police murders and the continuities of heritage sites with the police then and the police now. Having grappled with the issue of relevance on more than one occasion, the effort to compensate with citation from Bengal goes only a very small way towards redress, yet …

Though the more I read, the more I realise the editor has saved my bacon…:

While communities subject to regeneration are confronted with historical changes, recuperations of renovated pasts, and biased contemporary scrutiny, they are organizing. A participatory re-organization for ethnography necessarily rethinks their exclusion, and focuses upon new-found energies and new personnel invested contrapuntally in deciding what is comparable, what is transmissible, and what can be usefully studied. In some ways this was always the imperative of ethnography, if not ever quite the “native point of view” of old (Malinowski 1922).

Without entering the already prolific debates about social media’s impact on ethnography (a good survey will be Paganopoulos, forthcoming), it might be that once the digital curtain is pulled back on the magic smoke and mirrors of the grand wizard developer, every resident or passerby could have a chance to have a say. And since the so-called ‘illicit’ and worst versions of precarity throw up their own security challenges for (new) researchers and subjects alike, and all jobs with bosses are precarious of course, then the prospect of there being only a few university places subject to outsourcing and displacement (Neilson 2018: 275) is not something to regret.

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