Sign up for our Email Newsletter Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Time and the Field

View Table of Contents

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Time and the Field

Edited by Steffen Dalsgaard and Morten Nielsen
Afterword by George Marcus

166 pages, 1 figure, index

ISBN  978-1-78533-087-2 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (November 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78533-088-9 eBook

Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…deserves to be read; above all by advanced students who are preparing for fieldwork.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)

Time and the Field is an original and colorful collection of articles, approaching the overall topic from various perspectives, all illustrated with vivid accounts from the field. They cover a broad range of issues and comprehension, from reflections on methodology, descriptions of specific temporalities over theoretical experimentations (surfacing, trans-temporal hinges) to analysis about temporal constituencies of the ethnographic field… The book is surely a valuable inspiration for young anthropologists preparing their first fieldwork as well as for experienced fieldworkers motivating them to look at their data and practice from a different, time-inspired angle.” • Anthropos


In recent years, ethnographic fieldwork has been subjected to analytical scrutiny in anthropology. Ethnography remains anchored in tropes of spatiality with the association between field and fieldworker characterized by distances in space. With updates on the discussion of contemporary requirements to ethnographic research practice, Time and the Field rethinks the notion of the field in terms of time rather than space. Such an approach not only implies a particular attention to the methodology of studying local (social and ontological) imaginaries of time, but furthermore destabilitizes the relationship between fieldworker and fieldsite, allowing it to emerge as a dynamic and ever-shifting constellation.

Steffen Dalsgaard is Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. He is currently deputy chair of the Young Academy of Denmark. Among his recent publications are articles in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Social Anthropology, Environment and Society, and Social Analysis.

Morten Nielsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University and coordinator of the interdisciplinary research network Urban Orders (URO). Recent publications include articles in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Social Analysis, and Social Anthropology.

Subject: Applied Anthropology Theory and Methodology Cultural Studies (General) Sociology


Introduction: Time and the Field
Steffen Dalsgaard and Morten Nielsen

Chapter 1. Limits and Limitlessness: Exploring Time in Scientific Practice
Antonia Walford

Chapter 2. The Time of the State and the Temporality of the Gavman in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
Steffen Dalsgaard

Chapter 3. Out of Conclusion: On Recurrence and Open-Endedness in Life and Analysis
Anne Line Dalsgaard and Martin Demant Frederiksen

Chapter 4. Times of the Other: The Temporalities of Ethnographic Fieldwork
Ton Otto

Chapter 5. Surfacing Moves: Spatial-Timings of Senior Home Care
Peter A. Lutz

Chapter 6. Boredom, Rhythm, and the Temporality of Ritual: Recurring Fieldwork in the Brazilian Candomblé
Inger Sjørslev

Chapter 7. Episodic Fieldwork, Updating, and Sociability
Michael Whyte

Chapter 8. Trans-temporal Hinges: Reflections on an Ethnographic Study of Chinese Infrastructural Projects in Mozambique and Mongolia
Morten Axel Pedersen and Morten Nielsen

Afterword: Ethnography between the Virtue of Patience and the Anxiety of Belatedness Once Coevalness Is Embraced
George Marcus


Back to Top