Select Page

Crumpled Paper Boat

Experiments in Ethnographic Writing

Edited by Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean

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.

This book is available for purchase at Duke University Press.

2017. 264 pp., 4 illustrations, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Angela Garcia, Daniella Gondolfo, Tobias Hecht, Michael Jackson, Adrie Kusserow, Stuart McLean, Todd Ramón Ochoa, Anand Pandian, Stefania Pandolfo, Lisa Stevenson, Kathleen Stewart

There are no reviews at this time.

Prologue / Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean
Introduction: Archipelagos, a Voyage in Writing / Paper Boat Collective

1. The Ambivalent Archive / Angela Garcia
2. Writing with Care / Michael Jackson
3. After the Fact: The Question of Fidelity in Ethnographic Writing / Michael Jackson
4. Walking and Writing / Anand Pandian
5. Anthropoetry / Adrie Kusserow
6. Poetry, Uncertainty, and Opacity / Michael Jackson
7. Ta’bir: Ethnography of the Imaginal / Stefania Pandolfo
8. Writing through Intercessors / Stuart McLean
9. Desire in Cinema / Anand Pandian
10. Flows and Interruptions, or, So Much for Full Stops / Stuart McLean
11. Denial: A Visit in Four Ethnographic Fictions / Tobias Hecht
12. Ethnography and Fiction / Anand Pandian
13. SEA / Stuart McLean
14. Writing Otherwise / Lisa Stevenson
15. Origami Conjecture for a Bembé / Todd Ramón Ochoa
16. Ethnographic Excess / Daniella Gandolfo and Todd Ramón Ochoa
17. Conversations with a Hunter / Daniella Gandolfo
18. On Writing and Surviving / Lisa Stevenson
19. A Proper Message / Lisa Stevenson
20. Fidelity and Invention / Angela Garcia 

Epilogue / Kathleen Stewart


There are no working papers for this book at the present time.