Anthropology at the Edge of Words: Where Poetry and Ethnography Meet

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SUMMARY

Anthropology has seen major challenges regarding methods, epistemologies, and how one writes ethnographically. As practicing ethnographers and poets, we focus on one among many vibrant new styles of anthropological scholarship: ethnographic poetry. As poetry appears more regularly in scholarly venues, anthropologists may wonder how to create ethnographic poetry and toward what end. To address this, we begin with definitions of ethnographic poetry in relation to ethnography and ethnopoetics. We then consider how poetry may help anthropologists to write insightfully about how we and other people live. Drawing on our own poetry, and that of others, we explore how form affects meaning and ethnographic insight.

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