Ethnographic Monographs – or now for something else?

By Herbert Ploegman; Didi Boldewijn, Maya Roettger and Lorenzo Horwitz; Alice Riva, Claudia Rapisarda, Elisabeth Jongmans and Jasper Schotte; Ashley Prather and Maira van Emden Two crumpled up sheets of paper: the only traces left of the course Ethnographic Monographs that I took about a decade ago at our department of anthropology. Retrieved from a pile of old documents, I find on them forty-five book titles divided into two categories: “Classic monographs (from before 1970)”, and “Contemporary monographs (after 1970)”. As a student, I had to pick and read one from each, although I can’t remember if we were told …

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Art, anthropology and authority

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN “Most anthropologists are failed novelists.” I have forgotten where I heard this quote for the first time or who said so, but it is correct that many anthropologists hope to develop their literary skills. There is perhaps not much difference between anthropologists and novelists, or artists in general. Both anthropologists and artists, or at least most of them, wish to tell something about the world and in their products recreate the world. Both anthropologists and artists begin their exploration of the world by careful observation. Quite a few anthropologists love to experiment with the form in which …

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Writing a tailor-made thesis

by Suzanne Jansen A finished thesis is a tailor-made product: it has that perfect mixture of scientific knowledge embedded in lively ethnographic tales of the field. In my case not only my thesis itself was a tailor-made product. The people my research was about also turned out to be, or at least tried to be, tailor-made: I did research among women with anorexia. Having had anorexia myself, I have been intrigued by its manifestations ever since: young girls, older women, girls that are walking all day, women who are not talking all day, women that purge, girls that don’t, scarily …

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Living Text: Written messages outside and inside a West Bank peace project

This photo essay gathers statements from both outside (West Bank/Jericho area) and inside the peace project EcoME (“Ecological Middle East”) in the contested Palestinian Territories. The texts and their contexts portray the dynamic relation between outside hopes, fears and separation policies and the project’s inner striving for connection, warmth and openness. (The author wishes to stay anonymous). While studying sociology and cultural anthropology, the author has spent more than half a year participating in and researching the ecovillage-inspired peace project at hand. Currently, she is writing a master’s thesis about its relationality with the outside world of conflict and cultural …

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