Ambiguity and Experimentation: A Collaborative Ethnography of the State

Research Team Seminar

April 8–10, 2014

Ambiguity and Experimentation: A Collaborative Ethnography of the StateAmbiguity and Experimentation: A Collaborative Ethnography of the StateResearch Team Seminar Co-chaired by Penelope Harvey, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK, and Deborah Poole, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 8–10, 2014. Photograph by William Geoghegan.Ambiguity and Experimentation: A Collaborative Ethnography of the StateResearch Team Seminar Co-chaired by Penelope Harvey, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK, and Deborah Poole, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, April 8–10, 2014. Photograph by William Geoghegan.

This seminar convened a team of British, U.S., and Peruvian anthropologists who collectively carried out an ethnography of regional governance and state decentralization in Cusco, Peru. The project explores forms of ambiguity, uncertainty, and experimentation that are constitutive of neoliberal governance in six field sites and four development projects located in Cusco's Vilcanota Valley. The seminar allowed the team to expand its collaborative field research experience during a period in which team members are both geographically dispersed and involved in divergent professional communities.

The seminar co-chairs stated, “Our goals for the seminar were to draft an outline for a jointly authored English language publication on collaborative ethnography. We were particularly interested to explore how our diverse research trajectories and sites of professional engagement had shaped the research process.” Three days of fruitful discussion and collaboration resulted in the group’s intention to complete and disseminate a research monograph by Drs. Poole and Harvey, produce a team-authored English language essay on collaborative ethnography, spearhead a public event to be organized with the Colegio de Antropólogos (Professional School of Anthropologists) in Cusco, and re-design the project website

Penelope Harvey, Chair Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Manchester, U.K.
Deborah Poole, Chair Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
Jimena Lynch Cisneros Anthropologist, Ministerio de Cultura, Peru
Jorge Legoas PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Laval University, Quebec
Teresa Tupayachi Mar Anthropologist, Centre for Regional and Andean Studies, Bartolomé de las Casas, Cusco, Peru
Michal Osterweil Lecturer, Department of Global Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Annabel Pinker Associate Lecturer, Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Isaias Rojas-Perez Assistant Professor , Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Rutgers University, Newark

Sponsored by National Science Foundation

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