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  • Acknowledgments  vii
    Prologue / Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean  1
    Introduction: Archipelagos, a Voyage in Writing / Paper Boat Collective  11
    1. The Ambivalent Archive / Angela Garcia  29
    2. Writing with Care / Michael Jackson  45
    3. After the Fact: The Question of Fidelity in Ethnographic Writing / Michael Jackson  48
    4. Walking and Writing / Anand Pandian  68
    5. Anthropoetry / Adrie Kusserow  71
    6. Poetry, Uncertainty, and Opacity / Michael Jackson  91
    7. Ta'bir: Ethnography of the Imaginal / Stefania Pandolfo  94
    8. Writing through Intercessors / Stuart McLean  116
    9. Desire in Cinema / Anand Pandian  119
    10. Flows and Interruptions, or, So Much for Full Stops / Stuart McLean  126
    11. Denial: A Visit in Four Ethnographic Fictions / Tobias Hecht  130
    12. Ethnography and Fiction / Anand Pandian  145
    13. SEA / Stuart McLean  148
    14. Writing Otherwise / Lisa Stevenson  168
    15. Origami Conjecture for a Bembé / Todd Ramón Ochoa 172
    16. Ethnographic Excess / Daniella Gandolfo and Todd Ramón Ochoa  185
    17. Conversations with a Hunter / Daniella Gandolfo 189
    18. On Writing and Surviving / Lisa Stevenson  207
    19. A Proper Message / Lisa Stevenson  209
    20. Fidelity and Invention / Angela Garcia  222
    Epilogue / Kathleen Stewart  225
    Bibliography  231
    Contributors   241
    Index  243
  • Michael Brown

    Daniella Gandolfo

    Angela Garcia

    Tobias Hecht

    Michael D. Jackson

    Adrie Kusserow

    Todd Ochoa

    Stefania Pandolfo

    Lisa Stevenson

    Kathleen Stewart

  • "In a ‘post-truth’ world, where facts have become less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief, this publication is of timely importance. . . . It is a text that encourages the reader to embrace writing as a practice immanent to the world, rather than a detached reflection upon society and our place within it."


  • "In a ‘post-truth’ world, where facts have become less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief, this publication is of timely importance. . . . It is a text that encourages the reader to embrace writing as a practice immanent to the world, rather than a detached reflection upon society and our place within it."

  • "Boldly experimental, the contributors to this invigorating collection reveal the seriousness and creativity with which contemporary anthropologists—alert to the explosion of narrative form in fiction, poetry, cinema, and elsewhere—are breathing new life into ethnographic writing; in so doing, they reopen the possibilities of this most vital form of ethnographic expression." — Hugh Raffles, author of, Insectopedia

    "This is an extraordinary project. The powerful writing does exactly what is promised: it is a demonstration of the value of what the editors term experiment, and a case for writing as pragmatic intervention." — Lawrence Cohen, author of, No Aging in India: Alzheimer’s, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things

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  • Description

    Crumpled Paper Boat is a book of experimental ventures in ethnographic writing, an exploration of the possibilities of a literary anthropology. These original essays from notable writers in the field blur the boundaries between ethnography and genres such as poetry, fiction, memoir, and cinema. They address topics as diverse as ritual expression in Cuba and madness in a Moroccan city, the HIV epidemic in South Africa and roadkill in suburban America. Essays alternate with methodological reflections on fundamental problems of writerly heritage, craft, and responsibility in anthropology. Crumpled Paper Boat engages writing as a creative process of encounter, a way of making and unmaking worlds, and a material practice no less participatory and dynamic than fieldwork itself. These talented writers show how inventive, appealing, and intellectually adventurous prose can allow us to enter more profoundly into the lives and worlds of others, breaking with conventional notions of representation and subjectivity. They argue that such experimentation is essential to anthropology’s role in the contemporary world, and one of our most powerful means of engaging it.
    Contributors. Daniella Gandolfo, Angela Garcia, Tobias Hecht, Michael Jackson, Adrie Kusserow, Stuart McLean, Todd Ramón Ochoa, Anand Pandian, Stefania Pandolfo, Lisa Stevenson, Kathleen Stewart

    A School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar

    About The Author(s)

    Anand Pandian teaches anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. His books include Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation, also published by Duke University Press.

    Stuart McLean teaches anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His books include Fictionalizing Anthropology: Encounters and Fabulations at the Edge of the Human.
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