Tag: multimodal ethnography

A Concert in the Rainforest: Sound in Multispecies Ethnography

The four minute clip above was one of many that I recorded during preliminary fieldwork this past summer in the Eastern rainforest corridor of Madagascar. This specific recording occurred during a weekend trip to Analamazaotra with two of my interlocutors- biologists who study in Ranomafana National Park, my primary fieldsite. That morning, we had woken with the crepuscular mist to hike the muddy trails that transected the area. Walking with Jean, from the local guide association, we spent the morning as many tourists would, spotting camouflaged Nightjars nesting on the ground and smiling at brown lemurs that wrestled on Traveler’s Palms. Throughout the walk, we heard the haunting calls of Indris, Madagascar’s largest lemurs and one of its most recognized, due to its song and striking black and white patterning. (read more...)

People Are Not Fixed Media

Sensory ethnography continually emphasizes that the sensorium is just as much a (product of) sociocultural practice as it is a biophysiological property of the human species (Pink 2015). Recognition of this point has prompted several shifts in ethnographic work. On the one hand, it has pushed ethnographers to include in their writing a greater discussion of how subjects engage with the world through their senses as well as how the putatively biological phenomenon of sensory perception is so highly variable across and within sociocultural milieux. On the other, it has inspired ethnographers to pursue media practices beyond text, particularly through ethnographic film or sound recording (Feld 1991). Regardless of form, this work has greatly increased the possibility for the reader, listener, or viewer to experience with their senses the social environment that subjects inhabit and where the ethnographer conducted fieldwork. (read more...)