Skip to Content

The Michigan Anthropology Colloquia Series: "Afterward: Reflections on the Open Letters (and Open Wounds) of Anthropology and Fieldwork in North Carolina"

Peter Benson
Monday, October 2, 2017
3:00-5:00 PM
411 West Hall Map
"This open letter to an informant reflects on important ethical, methodological, and political issues that are related to the conduct of anthropology in the United States, within a problematized harm industry, and with a relatively advantaged constituency—North Carolina tobacco growers. Addressing the informant in the modes of apologetic and confessional discourse, critical self-reflection, and reparative work, the talk also provides more broadly-construed analytical insights into the perilous practice of “studying up.” The talk queries the possibilities and pitfalls of conducting politically-motivated anthropological scholarship on polarizing and sensitive issues of power, race and racism, inequality and privilege, as informants read our publications and perhaps rebuke us. This talk speaks to the goal of producing critical public anthropology out of the inevitable manifestations of friendship, intimacy, and privacy that define ethnography. This personal letter represents an effort to open a space of contact and regard and forge a renewed, elemental connection with an estranged informant across a hyperpartisan, intensely divided America."

The Michigan Anthropology Colloquia Series presents speakers on current topics in the field of anthropology.
Building: West Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: AEM Featured, Anthropology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Anthropology