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Accepted Paper:

A microtemporality of ethnography as microethnography of temporality  
Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I address the assumptions about linear time that underscore current debates about fieldwork temporalities. Drawing on Siberian materials, I use a temporal multiplicity of my own research as a tool to explore a temporal multiplicity of the post-socialism.

Paper long abstract:

George Marcus' (2003) observations that the slowness of ethnography, absolutely necessary for an in-depth immersion in any research context, is nonetheless 'unbearable' in relation the pace of changes in the world today have put the temporality of contemporary anthropology into sharp focus (Rabinow et al. 2008; Dalsgaard and Nielsen 2013). But what exactly is the slowness in question? What are the assumptions of linear time that underscore the understanding of speed of processes against which it is measured as well as the very methodological search for adequate ethnographic means to account for this speed? In this paper, I argue that this debate overlooks that both the temporality of the practices that we explore and our own research are neither linear nor singular. I chart this double heterochrony by drawing on examples of Siberian ethnography, and consider analytical implications of acknowledging this multiplicity. I situate my own 'unbearable slowness' in the face of change in temporal complexity of waiting time for a good moment to ask, of the sense of being late to ask and to see, and to fail to remember what one saw and asked when finally having time to write this down. My goal is doing so is to use this microtemporality of ethnography as microethnography of temporality.

Panel P086
The art of slowing down
  Session 1