The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the Blurred Borders between Ethnography and Life
August 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
* Luminaries in anthropology dare to explore the 'unspeakable' and 'invisible' in the ethnographic encounter
* Considers personal and professional challenges (ethical, epistemological, and political) faced by researchers who examine the subjectivities inherent in their ethnographic insights
* Explores the value, and limitations, of addressing the personal in ethnographic research
* Includes a critical discussion of the anthropologist's self in the field
* Introduces imaginative rigor to ethnographic research to heighten confidence in anthropological knowledge
Part I: Secrecy and Silence in the Ethnographic Encounter.
Part II: Transmutations of Experience: Approaching the Reality of Shadows.
Part III: Epistemic Shadows.
Part IV: The Politics of Ethnographic Encounter: Negotiating Power in the Shadow.
Part V: Blurred Borders in the Ethnographic Encounter of Self and Other.
Annette Leibing is an anthropologist with research interests in psychiatry, aging (especially Alzheimer), medications, and new medical technologies (such as stem cells). She has taught anthropology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and been a visiting professor in Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University (2002-05). She is Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of Montreal. Her latest book, co-edited with Lawrence Cohen, is Thinking about Dementia: Culture, Loss, and the Anthropology of Senility (2006).
- Luminaries in anthropology dare to explore the 'unspeakable' and 'invisible' in the ethnographic encounter
- Considers personal and professional challenges (ethical, epistemological, and political) faced by researchers who examine the subjectivities inherent in their ethnographic insights
- Explores the value, and limitations, of addressing the personal in ethnographic research
- Includes a critical discussion of the anthropologist’s self in the field
- Introduces imaginative rigor to ethnographic research to heighten confidence in anthropological knowledge
"There are some fabulous papers in here: thought provoking, stimulating, well-written, clever papers." (Anthropological Forum, July 2009)"Eye opening, provocative, and politically charged, this timely volume will change the ways you think about objects of knowledge and the means and ethics of knowing."
João Biehl, Princeton University
"With a multi-faceted play on the concept of shadow, these fine essays together redeem and clarify the so-called reflexive turn in anthropology, showing how the deeply personal in fieldwork is integral to the kind of quirky curiosity on which ethnographic knowledge so distinctively depends."
George Marcus, University of California, Irvine
"With uncommon candor, the remarkable ethnographers of The Shadow Side of Fieldwork interrogate some of the most pressing ethical and theoretical issues of writing culture in the present moment. Their often moving accounts of close encounters with themselves in their fieldwork contexts, and their understanding of how these encounters shape anthropology’s project of ethical connection with persons and worlds beyond, and within, our own, invites the discipline into new realms of inquiry, and excites deeper engagement with the paradoxes and anxieties of intersubjective research. A remarkable undertaking, all told."
Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College