[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
#02 Abu-Lughod: Writing against Culture
Friday, 11 December 2015, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
The Field, 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD
Chaired by OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury
Rail/Overground: New Cross Gate, Queens Road Peckham
Free, please book your place
We have selected Writing against Culture (1991) by Lila Abu-Lughod for our second reading. This discussion will be chaired by OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury.
DOWNLOAD: Abu-Lughod, Lila (2006/1991). Writing against Culture. In Anthropology in Theory: Issues in Epistemology, Henrietta Moore and Todd Sanders ed. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 466–479.
In this academic text, Lila Abu-Lughod unpacks the pitfalls of anthropological methods of research and analysis, which often construct generalised and over-simplified assumptions based on cultural difference. Abu-Lughod proposed three different strategies of “writing against culture” to counter ethnographic accounts of the time, which presented culture as something that is static, discrete, homogeneous and coherent, ignoring the cross-over between societies, social and cultural change, subjectivity and everyday contradictions.
Suggested further reading
Clifford, James and George Marcus ed. (1986). Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. School of American Research Advanced Seminar. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
Owens, Craig (1992). The Indignity of Speaking for Others: An Imaginary Interview. In Beyond Recognition, Berkley: University of California Press, pp. 259-262.
Owens, Craig (1983). The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism. In The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Seattle: Bay Press, pp. 57-82.