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Dear Fellow  Humanistic  Anthropologists,  We  are  co-­‐organizing  a  session  for  the   AAA  in  Montreal  and  invite  you  to  submit  an  abstract  to  us!    ASAP,  as  we  are  trying   to  wrap  up  the  lineup.     Panel  title:  “Writing  Ethnography:  Experimenting  on  Paper,  Experimenting  Online.”     Panel  organizers  and  chairs:  Sophia  Balakian  (U  Illinois  at  Urbana-­‐Champaign)  and   Alma  Gottlieb  (U  Illinois  at  Urbana-­‐Champaign)     What  counts  as  “ethnographic  writing”?    Must  it  conform  to  the  conventional   guidelines  for  a  scholarly  article  or  monograph,  or  might  it  mix  genres  in   unexpected  ways?    Can  an  anthropologist  tell  an  anthropological  story  by  braiding  a   narrative  with  a  fiction  writer,  or  following  an  informant  across  a  landscape  marked   by  a  Google  map?     Following  from  anthropologists  who  have  spent  several  decades  reflecting  on   writing  as  a  central  part  of  their  intellectual  work,  some  anthropologists  now  look   towards  new  possibilities  (sometimes  even  radical  ones)  that  challenge  the  notion   of  what  anthropological  writing  might  look  like.    In  a  moment  marked  by  rapidly   changing  communications  technologies,  and  urgent  questions  about  the  future  of   print  publishing,  the  possibilities  for  the  forms  through  which  anthropologists  can   engage  with  their  readers  are  undeniably,  and  excitingly,  expanding.     Our  panel  brings  together  anthropologists  who  are  experimenting  with  new  modes   of  writing—writing  that  shapes  social  theory  and  ethnography  in  new  ways,  and   that  extends  anthropological  work  in  new  directions.    These  “papers”  (though  words   need  not  be  tied  to  paper)  are  inspired  by  the  traces  and  legacies  of  innovative   writers  in  anthropology’s  past  at  the  same  time  that  they  also  interact  with  new   technologies,  blurred  lines  between  academic  disciplines  and  between  literary   genres,  and  continued  interest  in  the  fraught  boundary  between  fiction  and  non-­‐ fiction.     If  many  anthropologists  now  think  about  their  work  more  reflexively  than  did   scholars  of  earlier  generations,  most  anthropological  texts  nevertheless  continue  to   follow  scholarly  conventions  and  guidelines  (and  for  many  excellent  reasons).    In   this  panel,  we  seek  to  explore  new  ways  of  “producing  knowledge”-­‐-­‐through  text   and  beyond.    In  producing  experimental  texts  in  anthropology,  and  reflecting  on   those  products,  the  participants  in  this  panel  not  only  contribute  to  questions  about   writing,  they  also  wrestle  with  the  high  stakes  attached  to  the  way  we  write,   informing  our  identity  as  a  discipline  more  generally.    Attending  to  such   experiments  permits  us  to  come  to  terms  with  the  variety  of  new  media  now   defining  the  quotidian  experiences  of  increasing  populations  in  the  early  21st   century;  at  the  same  time,  it  allows  us  to  engage  with  the  variety  of  options  now  

available to  scholars  as  we  endeavor  to  share  our  expertise  with  an  expanding   audience.    

AAA Call for Papers  

AAA 2011 Montreal Experimental Writing

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