Ethnographies revisited: the test of time [P+R]
Carmen Lamela (Universidade da Coruña)
Maria Cátedra (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Pedro Tomé Martín (CSIC)
Disciplinary and methodological discussions:
Aula 31
Tuesday 16 April, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This panel aims to bring together revisit and replication studies of places that have been ethnographic sites, in order to trace the strength of concepts and theories that once seemed appropriate, and to track changes that refer to the place, the observer and the academic culture of the moment.

Long abstract:

It is a common academic practice in Anthropology, a literary genre, to go over an ethnography written several decades earlier. Still, there are different formats of what we might call "ethnographic revisits". Some are replication studies directed to corroborate the veracity of the initial version, which sometimes results in a fierce critique of omitted biases -as in Redfield-Lewis classic controversy around Tepoztlan. In other cases, it is the anthropologist himself who revisits his work and exercises self-criticism or self-praise, confronts his informants' criticism or, perhaps worse, their enthusiastic endorsement. But the revisiting of places that have been ethnographic sites is also a way to report on the local and global experienced transformations, to recognize what has happened since then, and even to trace the concepts and theories that once seemed appropriate. This panel aims to bring together ethnographic revisits that account for these transformations; revisits that also suppose a narration of the history of the place as object of anthropological observation. Why do they deserve the repeated attention of anthropologists? The analysis of restudied sites tends to be limited to specific regions, but this panel is an opportunity to compare a greater diversity of cases. It also wants to be an occasion to promote ethnographic replications that allow us to move forward collectively.

The panel will be complemented by a roundtable of European ethnographers of solid academic career that will provide a critical insight on their own experiences and on revisiting as analytical strategy.