Anthropology and the Misery of Writing
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 9:30am to 11:00am
Smith Warehouse, Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Bay 4, C105
[Event video is not available for this presentation at the speaker's request.]
About the presentation: We have much excited talk about experimental ethnography and new genres of writing. Much of what one reads and hears acknowledges the difficulties of putting words to page. But none of the many reflections and meditations about ethnography really delves into the self-destroying anxiety and misery that can accompany writing in anthropology and across the humanities. That many of us - from grad students to tenured professors - have suffered bad, sometimes career-ending trouble with writing is a public secret. I'll draw on my own struggle with writing and depression to try to make some of sense of why desperation and worse related to writing are so relatively commonplace in anthropology today -- and whether there's anything we can do about it.
About the presenter: Orin Starn is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History.