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DepositDocumentary Studies and Linguistic Anthropology

This article suggests that linguistic anthropology offers useful analytical tools to documentary studies because both fields wrestle with questions that emerge from the circulation of indexical representations that are putatively constructing truths. Linguistic anthropology is deeply concerned with the ways that texts circulate, and how this circulation affects how indexical representations are structured and how constructions of reality are produced. The question this article tackles is: how can insights that linguistic anthropologists have been developing about circulation, indexicality, and the construction of facts be usefully mobilised to think about documentaries?

Deposit“Finding Bazorkin: A Journey from Anthropology to Literature,” Anthropology and Humanism (2016)

This essay chronicles a journey through the Caucasus toward the end of the second Russo-Chechen war which resulted in an encounter with a little known work of historical fiction by the Ingush author Idris Bazorkin (1910-1991). In introducing Bazorkin to the Anglophone reader, I examine the intertextual linkages between his fiction and indigenous Ingush traditions and thereby reveal the thematic and generic range of Ingush literary modernity. By yoking together literary and ethnographic approaches that are often severed from each other, Bazorkin suggests an alternative conception of the relationship between literature and anthropology. Through its writing method as well as its critical analysis, this essay introduces Bazorkin’s anthropology of literature.

DepositRethinking World Anthropologies Through Fieldwork: Perspectives on “Extended Stay” and “Back-and-Forth” Methodologies

In this article, we explore the grounds on which world anthropologies can be differentiated and how this can be discussed without reproducing the internal hierarchies of a discipline that has at least four names (social anthropology, cultural anthropology, ethnology, ethnography). We suggest that ethnographic research (rather than national intellectual traditions) can be used as the criterion to differentiate between world anthropologies. In doing so, we discuss whether the production of anthropological knowledge is affected by the model of ethnographic fieldwork employed, by focusing on two methodologies: the “extended stay” model and the “back-and-forth” model. We also consider how methodologies may be discussed, given that the extended stay and back-and-forth fieldwork designs exist within anthropological-ethnological communities in unequal power positions. On the basis of an anthropological conference, Anthropology Otherwise, organised in Valjevo, Serbia, in 2011, which used consensus-based decision making as an organisational technique, we suggest that encounters of people who practice ethnography in various ways may unsettle existing hierarchies within the discipline if organised through experimental academic conference formats.

DepositThe anthropology of media and the question of ethnic and religious pluralism

This essay discusses anthropological approaches to the study of media interacting with contexts of ethnic and religious diversity. The main argument is that not only issues of access to and exclusion from public spheres are relevant for an understanding of media and pluralism. Background assumptions and ideologies about media technologies and their functioning also require more comparative analysis, as they impact public spheres and claims to authority and authenticity that ultimately produce and shape scenarios of ethnic and religious diversity. This additional dimension of diversity in the question of media and ethnic and religious pluralism is particularly apparent in crises of political and religious mediation. The latter often result in desires to bypass established forms of political and religious mediation that are in turn often projected on new media technologies.

DepositAnthropology Collection Storage Improvement and Sustainability Planning for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Section of Anthropology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History possesses one of the world’s outstanding collections. With more than 1.6 million archaeological and ethnological objects representing most of the continents, this collection deserves the best preventive conservation and storage possible. The Anthropology collections currently suffer from overcrowding and are intermingled with other areas and decentralized. The overcrowding puts existing collections at risk, makes it more cumbersome to use them, and limits acquisition of new objects. In order to implement more efficient space usage and improve collection care, it is imperative to begin planning improvements. CMNH Anthropology is already strongly committed to sustainable practices, but also understands that every organization and department can introduce additional improvements. This planning grant will enable investigation of methods to further increase sustainability at our facility.