Fragmented Fields: Doing Fieldwork Across (and Between) Ethnicity, Place, and Time
While many disciplines adopt some methods of anthropology, the extended period of fieldwork remains largely unique to the discipline. However, the notion of “the field" has shifted over time—contemporary anthropologists rarely work in clearly delineated “fieldsites” with bounded ethnic groups. While some anthropologists conduct fieldwork via the internet, in “imagined communities” (Anderson 1983), or on transnational commodity chains, other fieldworkers do more “traditional” anthropology in seemingly bounded physical fields that may in fact be ethnically, spatially, and temporally fragmented. We may do research in multiple sites, with many ethnic groups, while engaging historical and contemporary resources. In turn, our ethnography often crosses or collapses boundaries as we engage in the process of doing fieldwork.
We invite anthropologists who have done extended fieldwork in fragmented fields to submit ethnographic papers for consideration in this proposed panel. Geographical area is open; we would like to propose a panel with papers from different regions, if possible.
Possible topics include:
- Urban fieldwork that is located across place, for example in many locations across one large city, rather than in one particular “site.”
- Study of religious movements
- Topics that meld historical and contemporary events
- Multiethnic projects
- Projects located in medical, NGO, or other institutional contexts
- Multi-perspective fieldwork, surrounding a contested event, for example
- Fieldwork in magical settings
- Methodological considerations of fragmented fieldwork
Please respond by March 20, 2009. The AAA deadline for completion of the panel proposal including all membership and conference registrations is April 1. The AAA conference is scheduled for Dec. 2-6, 2009 in Philadelphia.
Amy Nichols-Belo and Clare M. Terni
Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
PO Box 400120
Charlottesville, VA 22904
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