SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • [digitality;
  • diaspora;
  • blackness;
  • ethnography;
  • media anthropology]

ABSTRACT

Using a notion of “the digital” as one of its master metaphors, a version of the term reliant on Kara Keeling's discussion of “digital humanism,” this piece argues that there is something about the nonlinearities defining digitality's difference that might help us to think about recalibrations in the ethnographic project itself. From a discussion of Marlon Riggs's filmic depiction of his own death (as one way to talk about the nondigital) to a machine that uses digital technology to play with temporality in broadcast television, this article wants to ask what the changing social relations (and existential realities) predicated on the ubiquity of digital media might mean for ethnographic research and writing today. With the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem as central ethnographic subjects, I argue that taking digitality seriously means redefining some of what ethnography is and ain't in a post–Writing Culture moment.