What is the future of agricultural anthropology? Perhaps we will be “studying up” and turning our ethnographic attention to industrialized food systems. Perhaps we will be focusing on “win-wins” and identifying policies that promote solidarity between economic and environmental goals.
I am writing these “Notes from the Field” in a liminal place of searching for a new fieldwork site: grappling with philosophies regarding the greater good and news of anthropological import as well as my own tragic subjectivity. This personal struggle is also an ethical dilemma that stands at the heart of anthropological theory.
The latest in Culture & Agriculture’s Notes from the Field series explores the value of anthropological fieldwork for undergraduate education. “Anthropological fieldwork is a lot like writing your first college term paper. You have no clue what the hell comes next.” —Anonymous Student, Western Illinois University I love doing fieldwork. I chalk this up to […]
As Ruth Behar wrote, there is a kind of anthropology that “breaks our hearts” (Behar 1996). There is also the question of what to do with the remaining pieces. In sharing some auto-ethnographic reflections about the heart breakings and “rich points” (methodological challenges and unexpected gifts) of native anthropology projects, I hope these insights help other ethnographers to continue refining our critical ethnography tools, questioning and reflecting about the kinds of academic knowledge we wish to produce, and challenging us to consider the implications of research as labor and research as part of our wider life projects.
Unexpected lessons from gardening research, meditative weeding, and other urban multispecies collaborations. Drawing on the experiences and expertise of our members, Culture & Agriculture introduces its “Notes from the Field” series. It is intended as a space for creative, thoughtful reflections on the process of fieldwork that, while not always included in traditional peer-reviewed publications, […]
Now that I’ve passed tenure review, published a book, cemented my teaching skills, and learned how to be a productive member of a college committee, I feel confident, self-assured, and filled with certainty about every aspect of my career as a professor. The same certainty extends to research and fieldwork. From choosing a topic to […]