Literary Ethnography

A blog about writing, creating, and representing culture

“Creative minds are uneven, and the best of fabrics have their dull spots.”

—   HP Lovecraft, (1890-1937) 
I need a good caption for this stock photo.  Anyone want to help?

I need a good caption for this stock photo.  Anyone want to help?

A Report from the European Association of Social Anthropologists' meetings in Tallin

An interesting reflection on this year’s EASA meetings on the Savage Minds anthropology blog.

What is Ferguson doing on Europe's front pages?

The Economist weighs in on why Europe is enjoying the racial troubles of the USA.

Daisy is baffled by this thing.  I guess she was born too long after the heyday of the typewriter to know how it works.

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”


William Strunk, jr.  The Elements of Style

Absolutely essential advice for every ethnographer.

Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness


Andrew Solomon on Robin Williams:

“He played an alien so well because he was an alien in his own mind, permanently auditioning to be one of us. Suicide is a crime of loneliness, and adulated people can be frighteningly alone. Intelligence does not help in these circumstances; brilliance is almost always profoundly isolating.”

Above: Robin Williams, September 14, 1978. Photograph by Jim Britt/Getty

Beautiful and so sad.


“The objective of anthropology, I believe, is to seek a generous, comparative but nevertheless critical understanding of human being and knowing in the one world we all inhabit.”

—   Tim Ingold (via sensationalsegue)


In search of respect: an interview with Philippe Bourgois

A great interview with anthropologist Philippe Bourgois.