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The Anthropologist as Writer
Genres and Contexts in the Twenty-First Century
Edited by Helena Wulff
288 pages, 4 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-018-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2016)
ISBN 978-1-78533-742-0 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (September 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-019-3 eBook
“Overall, the collection should be a mandatory reference for all working ethnographers in the social sciences and required reading in all graduate courses on ethnographic methods.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)
“Due to the volume’s overall approach to the writing process as part of the profession, the chapters offer insightful observations for scholars in both early and later stages of their careers… The strength of the edited volume is that each chapter takes a very concrete situation as departure point, from perspectives such as journalism, administration, publishing, activism or funding. These are the basis for wider observations about challenges and opportunities for the writer – the anthropologist – to take into account. As such, it is an extremely valuable resource for anthropologists and ethnographers working in academia.” • Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (AJEC)
“This well-written collection of essays is not merely a programmatic statement about the need for anthropologists to experiment with genres, but indicates how it can be done. It succeeds in showing just as much as telling, with examples ranging from the thought-provoking to the entertaining.” • Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo
Writing is crucial to anthropology, but which genres are anthropologists expected to master in the 21st century? This book explores how anthropological writing shapes the intellectual content of the discipline and academic careers. First, chapters identify the different writing genres and contexts anthropologists actually engage with. Second, this book argues for the usefulness and necessity of taking seriously the idea of writing as a craft and of writing across and within genres in new ways. Although academic writing is an anthropologist’s primary genre, they also write in many others, from drafting administrative texts and filing reports to composing ethnographically inspired journalism and fiction.
Helena Wulff is Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. Among her publications are the monographs Ballet across Borders (1998, Bloomsbury), Dancing at the Crossroads (2007, Berghahn), and Rhythms of Writing (2017, Bloomsbury).