What does it mean to produce scholarship through sound? The Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group just published a conversation on Mixtape Scholarshipwith Dr. Kwame M. Phillips (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy; Emory Anthropology PhD 2014). Dr. Phillips and co-author Dr. Shana L.
Redmond’s essay/mixtape “The People Who Keep on Going”: A Listening Party, Vol. I appears in The Futures of Black Radicalism, which is being promoted this Summer as a free e-book by publisher Verso Books. The playlist “is a people’s songbook, a soundtrack to the improvisational life and living of Blackness under the control of white supremacy. This is an effort to pull forward and give a name to what our bodies tell us with every needle drop, to hold tight that which combines individual voice and people’s rebellion . . . ” (Redmond & Phillips, 2017:207). Dr. Debra Vidali (Emory Anthropology; Faculty director for the Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group) took this as an opportunity to talk to Dr. Phillips about multimodal argumentation, ethnographic documentation, listening parties, and a playlist for the Futures of Black Radicalism. “The People Who Keep on Going” mixtape is hosted on Dr. Phillips’ TheDreadstarMovement site. Experimental Ethnography @ Emory
Three experimental ethnography pieces by undergraduate students on COVID-19 experiences have been recently published on the Experimental Ethnography at Emory blog. These works were produced for ANT/THEA 377W “Fieldwork into Performance,” taught by Prof. Vidali in Spring 2019.
“Rush Monologues” by Aditya Jhaveri is a verbatim ethnographic theater script based on interviews with three international students.
“Face-Time during COVID-19” by Katherine Pitts is a creative nonfiction essay aimed to promote awareness of isolation and the importance of staying connected in a highly disrupted world.
“Silent” by Joy Min is a short ethnographic theater piece documenting the experiences of people who are victims of racist/xenophobic sentiments concerning the origins of COVID-19.
PhD Candidate Elena Lesley has been selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as one of 23 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2020-2021. The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
Her dissertation examines Buddhist-influenced mental health interventions in Cambodia. Since first traveling to Cambodia in 2004, Lesley’s work in the country has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, a Fulbright fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Blakemore Foundation, among others. The results of her research have appeared in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, the journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention, the U.K. literary magazine Granta, Necropolitics and Remembering Genocide.
Lesley has a BA from Brown University and an MS from Rutgers University. Before coming to Emory, she worked as a journalist in the U.S. and abroad, and also as a Senior Research Specialist at Princeton University.
When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all in-person gatherings this Spring, the Experimental Ethnography at Emory Working Group decided to host a short series of virtual public talks by artists whose work incorporates social inquiry and ethnographic research. The group has been running workshops, showcases, and discussion groups on campus since Spring 2019, with generous support from the Bill & Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. This semester, the group used funds to support artists who had lost income due to Covid-19 cancellations.
On April 10, Chicago-based video and performance artist Cherrie Yu shared recent video works that employ ethnographic methods, collaboration, and literary conventions, such as juxtaposition and translation, to explore the relationships between labor and personhood. On May 1, Atlanta-based designer Carley Rickles spoke about her approach to fieldwork in urban built environments and her concepts of “alternative” and “residual” public space. Over 30 people tuned in to each Zoom talk from places as far as India, Italy, Turkey, and California.
Graduate student Sasha Tycko worked as the organizer and moderator for these two Spring events.
Naomi Tesema (C20), earned her BS with honors in Anthropology and Human Biology. She received the Atwood Award for her honors theses titled “Mobile Phone Apps for HIV Prevention Among College-aged Black Women in Atlanta: Preferences and Prototype.”
Anna Wachspress, a junior majoring in anthropology and human biology, received an honorable mention for “Lori Loughlin and the College Admissions Scandal: Frame Analysis of Online Entertainment Magazines,” an assignment for Sociology 289: Crime and the Media.
Dr. Dietrich Stout (Emory Anthropology) interviews Dr. Marcela Benitez about her work with Capuchin monkeys and her interest in their social behavior. Dr. Benitez is a postdoc at GA State University and will join Emory’s Anthropology Department as an assistant professor in January 2021.
The Carlos Museum usually offers great activities and events for families on site. With the closure of the galleries due to COVID-19, the museum has been creating online activities for kids and adults.
The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2020 student award winners! Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabel Slingerland, Claire Biffl, Emma Hanlon, Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak, and graduate students Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath. Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Friday, April 24. See below for detailed award descriptions. We are so proud of our many impressive students!
2020 Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Senior Award: Isabel Slingerland
Outstanding Junior Award: Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing:
Claire Biffl for her honors thesis “Experiences of Aging, Kinship, Death, and Independence in an Independent Living Facility”
Emma Hanlon for her honors thesis “Negotiating Spirituality: Ritual, Language, and Space in the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta”
2020 Graduate Student Awards:
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Shreyas Sreenath for his dissertation “Black Spot: An Account of Caste and Discards in 21st Century Bangalore”
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath