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.

MemberCaroline Heitz

  I am an archaeologist working on prehistoric wetland sites and the archaeology of alpine spaces, currently based at the University of Bern in Switzerland. I did my studies in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology, Archaeological Science, Social Anthropology and the History of Eastern Europe. Accordingly, I have a deep interest in inter- and transdisciplinarity research. In my PhD thesis titling ‘Ceramics beyond Cultures: A praxeological approach to mobility, entanglements and transformation in the northern Alpine space (3950-3800 BC)’, I combined different thing, action, cultural and social theories with qualitative and quantitative methods of archaeology and archaeometry. While this project aimed at inquiring the role of spatial mobility for transformations in Neolithic pottery production and consumption practices, my latest research is focussed on the mutuality of human-environment-relations.  

MemberChristoph Lange

I studied from 2004–2011 Social Anthropology and Middle East Studies at the University of Leipzig. With my first travels to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, I set my research focus on the Levant region within the Arab Middle East. From 2008–2012 I worked for the German state-funded Collaborative Research Center CRC 586 „Difference and Integration“ at the universities of Leipzig and Halle/Lutherstadt Wittenberg where I conducted my first ethnographic research about Bedouin representations in Syrian television dramas and Arab media discourses about authenticity. Since 2014 I am working as a doctoral researcher at the Research Lab “Transformations of Life” at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne. My actual PhD-research project is about the breeding, standardization and circulation of Arabian purebred horses with an ethnographic focus on Egypt and Arab actors within the global breeding industry.

MemberNicolas Morales

…2015 – PhD in Anthropology and Communication, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (ongoing), Tarragona.

2012 MSc in Social Anthropology. Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Mexico, D.F.

2004 MD, University of Santiago, Chile….

I’m a PhD student in Anthropology at Rovira i Virgili University. I’ve developed qualitative research projects linked to indigenous mental health (Tarapacá, Chile), everyday violences against children in urban spaces  (Iztapalapa, Ciudad de México) and effects on the subjectivity of Relatives of Disappeared-Detainees confronted to forensic evidences (Paine, Chile). My current research project is about the psychiatric reform in Chile from a historical and anthropological perspective.

MemberBruce O'Neill

…Ph.D. Anthropology, Stanford UniversityM.A. Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford UniversityM.Sc. Cities, Space and Society, London School of EconomicsB.A. Sociology and Philosophy, Villanova University…

Bruce O’Neill is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and in the Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis Unviersity. His ethnographic research explores the social and spatial dimensions of urban inequality, particularly in Bucharest, Romania, where he has conducted fieldwork since 2006. Professor O’Neill’s first book, The Space of Boredom: Homelessness in the Slowing Global Order (Duke University Press, 2017) uses boredom as a window into the cultural politics of displacement from the global economy. His next book project, The Roots of Urbanism, is an ethnography of subterranean Bucharest. With support from the Wenner Gren Foundation, the fieldwork examines the way post-socialist urban life unfolds underground in Metro stations, basements, and cemeteries, for example. Professor O’Neill’s research appears in such journals as Public Culture (27:2), Cultural Anthropology (29:1), Environment and Planning D (28:2), and a special issue of Ethnography (13:4), which he co-edited.