Poiesis of Possibility: The Ethnographic Sensibilities of Ursula K. Le Guin



    1. Department of Anthropology, College of Natural and Social Sciences, King Hall B3006, California State University, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
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This article explores some of the ways Ursula Le Guin (daughter of famed anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber) uses ethnographic modes of writing and anthropological insights in her works of social science fiction. It is based on a close reading of her fiction and an e-interview with the author. While science fiction may seem a far cry from ethnography, careful attention to the critical functions of Le Guin's fiction can shed light on some of the underlying assumptions and implications of the ethnographic imagination and writing. As Le Guin herself has observed, anthropologists and novelists share common traits and often find themselves writing about similar things.