AO: Like Matsutake group, they explicitly note they are not interested in a division of labor (86)
AO: They give an example of collaboration with “Bert” who eventually wrote a book on ethnography for Bert’s own intellectual project. They note: “This clearly and materially represented an appropriation of George and Doug’s thinking about anthropology for the purposes of Bert’s own intellectual projects in his space.” At first glance, I wondered if it meant that to be/have an “epistemic partner”, the partner has to also produce a similar (equal) output - i.e. books. But in the context of my project, I think that this would be for example, multiple different users (and uses) of the ethnographic data generated and collected. I.e. if the other research groups within the soon to be collective (do we need to think of a name to describe what this will be??) were to use the data, would that be the equivalent to what Holmes and Marcus here and the example of Bert publishing a book with their knowledge? I think perhaps even the annotation structure (if the others annotate the data) could also be this kind of (counter) para-ethnographic moves.
AO: The analysts in this piece are describing similar (but much more nuanced) ideas about reciprocol benefits from research. The idea that the ethnographer and their work can also be appropriated by the research “subject” What is different/more nuanced about this type of “reciprocol benefit” than some of the other works like Pillay which ring hollow? I think it relates to the “shared conceptual labor” they discuss which makes the benefits more clearly symmetrical (even if not equal per say). This is where the term “found reflexive subjects” is I think key. The idea being not that you can have such a collaborative relationship with everyone and anyone but rather, there are particular individuals/groups with whom this kind of work has the potential to be more reciprocally beneficial.
AO: I don’t have an edxo question but the analysts are interested in how to train the next generation of transdisciplinary scholars. They argue that metrics (that are “valid and reliable” are needed that capture the quality, novelty, and scope of disciplinary integration of the work completed by a trainee over time.
“Community consent to disseminate knowledge and/or to decrease harm and increase benefit is more nuanced and subtle than academic publishing consent.” (4)
Given that it appears this paper is targeted at natural and physical scientists in the environmental sciences (and not feminist STS scholars) this paper follows a very different publishing model than if it were targeted to something like Catalyst.
AO: The analysts note the important distinction between equity and equality (26)
AO: The analysts note the following key ideas emerging from the work:
Ethics happen in practice;
Ethical situations involve a diversity of actors and areas;
Research ethics cannot be separated from the economic context of global research; and
There are blind spots and ‘public secrets’ in transnational medical research (231).
AO: Alliance is used interchangeably with the term “collaboration.”
AO: This article made me reflect on whether or not all collaboration starts as such. Does there always need to be an agreed upon originary moment where terms and ideas are agreed upon? Or is it possible to realize halfway through that in fact what you are doing is a collaboration?
AO: “mistake to view the crowds that are sourced as uninvested or as purely, or neatly, a means to a research end [Wolfenstein 2016].” (18)
“There are at least three ways in which anthropology engages
improvisation as a collaborative phenomenon: a) as an element of
the idea of habitus; b) as a set of practices studied as social text or
process; and c) as an aspect of experimental research modalities.
As to the first, Pierre Bourdieu, in his critique of structuralism,
suggested that social life is ordered improvisation. … In the second instance, we find anthropologists inquiring into tradition, politics, and identity through the lens of intentional, performative improvisation. … Third, improvisation in anthropology has taken the form of performative and collaborative research.”
“Participants were explicitly taught the central dynamic of improvisational performance: always accepting offers from one’s collaborator with “yes, and” to keep communication and action flowing.”
“As he inscribes answers and prompts his interlocutors to tell him more, he may very well have asked: ‘Yes, and?’ In his commitment to understanding Trobriand society as a total system, Malinowski would have taken what he observed on its own terms. It’s not a stretch to imagine that he would have accepted rather than refuted the responses he received—a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘no, that can’t be true.’ More than that, he might have tacked on “and” in his willingness to think in tandem with his interlocutors. Although the conditions of fieldwork are certainly different now, I posit that, like Malinowski, contemporary ethnographers often operate in the spirit of ‘yes, and.’”
“could anthropologists improvise with one another and not only with their interlocutors?”
“Historically, we do fieldwork alone rather than in teams, and although we are in conversation through publications and peer review, these forms of engagement are, temporally speaking, not improvisational. When we gather at campus talks and annual conferences and listen to one another’s papers, we often participate in Q&A sessions following the presentations. The Q&A is spontaneous and responsive—is this a kind of peer-to-peer, collaborative improvisation? According to the ‘yes, and’ principle, no. We use the Q&A to constitute our own authority (for instance, in the too-common monologic style of questioning). We don’t typically agree (“yes!”) and jump aboard the analytic train of our colleagues (“and”), spontaneously entering into dialogue in a spirit of collaborative analysis.”
“Agreeing to agree in collaborative analysis could mirror what we do in the field, with the aim not of supplanting debate and critique but rather advancing a lateral analytic process.”
AO: Authors argue for working the metaphoric image of the “double bind” which project situations of disjuncture and unresolvable contradictions.
AO: The analysts note the way marginality creates its own margins leading to a persistent mismatch between explanations and everyday life (152).
AO: The analysts note that the way we talk about theory and practice obscures the fact that there are dramatic material effects based on the ways that we conceptualize and talk about the world. This is a very important point for my project!! (154).