Zoë Wool

Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar

2010

Emergent Ordinaries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center: An Ethnography of Extra/ordinary Encounters

Zoë WoolZoë Wool2010 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer ScholarZoë Wool2010 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer ScholarZoë WoolZoë Wool2010 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer ScholarZoë Wool2010 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar

During her residency at SAR, Zoë Wool made significant progress on her dissertation. Based on twelve months of fieldwork at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, this study examines the experiences of U.S. soldiers severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. More specifically, she focuses on “those moments of encounter where soldiers’ ambitions to the ordinary are foiled by others’ attempts to render them extraordinary.” Her goal, she states, is to elaborate the vital importance to soldiers of an ordinary life and the ways in which that life is denied by endless declarations of heroism, patriotism and sacrifice. She suggests that a life felt and seen to be ordinary is central to the soldier’s rehabilitation. While at SAR, she drafted a key ethnographic chapter, “Life Exfoliated,” and nearly completed a second chapter about her field site, Walter Reed. In describing her experience, she wrote: “While I anticipated the beauty of Santa Fe and the relaxed but stimulating space at SAR, I don’t think I could have been prepared for the depth and fullness of my time there this summer.”

Affiliation at time of award:
Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto


Sponsored by Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Foundation

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