Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Long-term Fieldwork

The below is quoted directly from an email circulated by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies:
 
Please join the Department of Anthropology for today's colloquium:

The Pros and Cons of Long-term Fieldwork

by Alan Howard, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, UH Manoa

Date: Thursday, 27 October
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: UHM Crawford Hall 105

During the 20th century most anthropological fieldwork was conducted in a single visit, usually of about a year's duration. This led to narrative accounts in the "ethnographic present," which fostered a rather static view of culture. Improvements in transportation and communication have made return visits over long periods of time more feasible for ethnographers, providing opportunities to come to grips with changes over time, changes in the culture being studied, changes in anthropology, and changes in the ethnographer(s). Alan Howard will discuss the pros and cons of such long-term fieldwork based on his experience of more than 50 years of research with people from the Polynesian island of Rotuma.
Alan Howard is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He has conducted research among the Rotuman people from 1959 until the present. He created and maintains the Rotuma Website (www.rotuma.net) as a service to the now-global Rotuman community.

The colloquium is cosponsored by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

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