Accepted paper:

A dog story from Newfoundland (revisited)


John Harries (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

I will be telling a story from Newfoundland about a man who had to shot his favorite hunting dog. It was told many years ago. I have told it again many times when teaching and now will speak to what issues the ways this story has lived on raises what we, anthropologists, make of stories once told us.

Paper long abstract:

Many years ago now, when I was doing my first bit of "ethnographic" research in a small village on the southwest coast of the island of Newfoundland a man told a story about a dog. We were sitting in the kitchen and dog stories were going around and he told of how he had to shot his favorite hunting dog. Later in the evening a wrote a version of this tale into my field-notes. Later on still I "interpreted" the significance of this story in a naive exercise of thick description. Later on still I would perform more versions of this story and reveal my interpretation while teaching 2nd year students about ethnography and interpretive anthropology. In telling it again at the ASA I wish to excavate my own performance of this story in different contexts and, in revisiting a story of a death of good dog told many years ago, consider the what we, as anthropologists, do with the stories told by others.

panel P72
Anthropology of storytelling