Paper short abstract:
Using the analytical categories of the 'desk' and 'field', this paper explores the seemingly lack of openness to other ways of knowing upon returning from the field. Moreover, it explores how openness to knowledge within the academy maybe effected by an approach that collapses the desk and field.
Paper long abstract:
As David Mosse points out, anthropology can sometimes appear to be an anti-social discipline. Still under the influence of Malinowski, we erect boundaries between the 'desk' and the 'field' - especially at the point of entry and exit. The value of anthropological knowledge is that it cannot be anticipated from the desk. It's an approach that pushes anthropologists to denude pre-conceived ideas formed from the desk; the epistemology comes from being in relationship towards those in the field. It's an approach that requires openness and generosity to differing opinions and ways of knowing.
Upon returning from the field, this sense of openness can sometimes seem reduced in the 'desk' world of the academy. There seems to be less openness, generosity, to other ways of knowing. Through discussions with anthropologists who have worked closer to home, near the desk, and anthropologists that have worked further away from home; away from the desk, this paper explores why there seems to be a lack of openness to other ways of knowing upon returning from the field. Moreover, this paper explores how the openness to knowledge within the academy maybe effected by an approach to research that collapses the desk and the field.
Generosity and analysis