Accepted Paper:

Audio anthropology: chances and challenges  


Bettina Weiz

Paper short abstract:

The paper invites attention to the acoustic dimension of fieldwork

Paper long abstract:

In recent anthropology, visual material has been dealt with fruitfully, and the same happens with all kinds of artefacts - starting with material things and ending with songs and narratives. Acoustic material has been confined to music anthrophology or to recorded interviews, the content of which was analyzed, but rather not their acoustic shape. However, this and sounds and noises that just happen and are produced without being thought of as artefacts can also be highly informative. Yet they are so far underexploited by anthropologists. This paper discusses their scope, including technical questions of sound recording, its temporality, its specifics and the challenge to represent sounds in anthropological production (which is, after all, mostly writing). It is based on fieldwork and recordings in /from India, US and Europe.

Panel W087
Phenomenological anthropology as research method: debating the pre-textual basis of ethnographic fieldwork