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.
“María, María, perdí la esperanza, María, María, perdí la esperanza.” I am reminded of these lyrics from the bomba group, Yuba Iré, when I see the pictures and videos of our beloved nation of Puerto Rico in ruins. Some of us had lived through hurricanes before, but nothing had prepared us for this level of […]
Puerto Rican aftermath Puerto Ricans are US citizens. Puerto Rico is a colony. The tensions encompassed by these two facts were extremely clear in the federal response to Hurricane Maria. September 20, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. That morning, at around 8:00 a.m., I texted the latest coordinates and predictions of when Maria […]