Transformations in the Field
Author: Jean-Guy Goulet,Bruce Granville Miller
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Category: Social Science
What happens when anthropologists lose themselves during fieldwork while attempting to understand divergent cultures? When they stray from rigorous agendas and are forced to confront radically unexpected or unexplained experiences? In Extraordinary Anthropology leading ethnographers from across the globe discuss the importance of the deeply personal and emotionally volatile "ecstatic" side of fieldwork. Anthropologists who have worked in communities in Central America, North America, Australia, Africa, and Asia share their intimate experiences of tranformations in the field through details of significant dreams, haunting visions, and their own conflicting emotional tensions. Their experiences demonstrate the necessary fluidity of research agendas, the value of going beyond an accepted (and safe) cultural and academic vantage point, and the inevitability of wrestling with tension and unhappiness when faced with irreconcilable cultural and psychological dichotomies. The contributors explore ways in which conventional research methods can be adapted to creatively engage the intellectual, ethical, and practical dimensions of these dislocations and capitalize on them. Unsettling and revealing, Extraordinary Anthropology will spark debate and reflection among anthropologists for years to come. Jean-Guy A. Goulet is an anthropologist teaching conflict studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. His books include Being Changed by Cross Cultural Encounters: The Anthropology of Extraordinary Experience and Ways of Knowing: Experience, Knowledge, and Power among the Dene Tha (Nebraska 1998). Bruce Granville Miller is a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia. His books include The Problem of Justice: Tradition and Law in the Coast Salish World (Nebraska 2001) and Invisible Indigenes: The Politics of Nonrecognition (Nebraska 2003). Johannes Fabian is the author of Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object. Contributors: Edward Abse, Millie Creighton, Duncan Earle, Peter Gardner, Guy Lanoue, Deirdre Meintel, Denise Nuttall, Petra Rethmann, Deborah Bird Rose, Edmund Searles, Jeanne Simonelli, Janferie Stone, Anahi Viladrich, and Barbara Wilkes.