Activities

Decameron Relived

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It is my pleasure to announce that Decameron Relived launched today on Cultural Anthropology.

 

As anthropologists we often tell stories in our work to introduce a setting, to illustrate a point, to “try to grasp the fragments of the real world” (Fassin 2014, 41), or to give readers a sense of what it feels to live a life in a particular kind of way. Often, our stories take the form of ethnographic anecdotes and aim to capture the truth with fidelity (Byler and Iversen 2012; Jackson 2017, 46, 48). Decameron Relived is inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s classic collection of stories, set during the outbreak of the Black Death. The framing of the narrative rests on the idea that ten people in isolation tell stories to each other, over the course of ten days, to pass the time. Today, as the news that surrounds us is so often distressing and bleak, the time seems ripe to offer stories as a source of entertainment and solace, but also to provoke a different kind of existential reflection. In March 2020 I invited nine anthropologists to join me in writing, so we could share stories inspired by our ethnographic fieldwork. They were written in April 2020, a time when many places around the world were in strict lockdown and people were advised not to leave their homes. As I hope readers will find out for themselves, stories proved once again to be good and reliable companions.

A new story will be published each weekday through November 2, 2020.

Activities

Walking stories – methods on the move

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend the RAI2020 Anthropology and Geography conference and to present in a panel in the methods section. The panel, convened by Elizabeth Rahman and Shonil Bhagawat, entitled Walking stories: doing and making out and about explored ethnographic methods on the move. This was a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the methods that encompass narrative and discursive practices (including storytelling and narrative interviews) with the various form of movement and walking.