Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
In these new essays, a group of experienced ethnographers, a literary critic, and a historian of anthropology, all known for advanced analytic work on ethnographic writing, place ethnography at the center of a new intersection of social history, interpretive anthropology, travel writing, discourse theory, and textual criticism.
The authors analyze classic examples of cultural description, from Goethe and Catlin to Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard, and Le Roy Ladurie, showing the persistence of allegorial patterns and rhetorical tropes. They assess recent experimental trends and explore the functions of orality, ethnicity, and power in ethnographic composition.
Writing Culture argues that ethnography is in the midst of a political and epistemological crisis: Western writers no longer portray non-Western peoples with unchallenged authority; the process of cultural representation is now inescapably contingent, historical, and contestable. The essays in this volume help us imagine a fully dialectical ethnography acting powerfully in the postmodern world system. They challenge all writers in the humanities and social sciences to rethink the poetics and politics of cultural invention.
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MARY LOUISE PRATT
STEPHEN A TYLER
GEORGE E MARCUS
GEORGE E MARCUS
Notes on Contributors
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allegory American analysis anthropology argues authority Azande Balinese carnival Catlin Chicano claims Clifford cockfight concepts construction context conventions critical critique cultural form describes dialogue discourse discussed domination epistemology essay ethnic ethno ethnographer's ethnographic ethnographic texts ethnographic writing Evans-Pritchard evoke example experience experimental explore fact feminist fiction fieldwork Firth Foucault Geertz Gellner Goethe hermeneutic historical ideology Indian interpretation knowledge Kung Lakota language literary lives Malinowski Mandan Marxist meaning metaphors Michael Michel Foucault mode modern Montaillou move narrative narrator Nisa Nisa's nographic Nuer object Paul Rabinow perspectives Pierre Maury polyphony possible post-modern post-modern ethnography practice present problem produced reader realist reality recent relations representation rhetoric Roy Ladurie Saramaka scientific seminar sense Shabono Shostak social society specific story structure style Talal Asad textual theory tion tradition translation truth village Vincent Crapanzano voice Western Willis Willis's