Core Practice 9 — Writing: Embodying your Thoughts

Writing is literally part and parcel of Ethnography (graphy = writing about ethno = people and cultures). Most texts address the challenges of representation, or sometimes the choice of different genres, but hardly ever pay attention to the writer’s body during the process. Even though we mostly sit still behind a computer, our fingers typing away on a keyboard is still an embodied activity. How can we make this more conscious, and employ the freedom we can experience in movement, towards finding a similar flow in our writing? Are you staring at that empty screen? Or the opposite, have you got so many pages of notes that you can’t see the wood for the trees? This Exploration will help you to structure your thoughts through your moving body, get unstuck and find your flow…


Further Reading

Clifford, J. (1988) The predicament of culture. Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press.

Clifford, J. and Marcus, G. E. (eds.) (1986) Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkely and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E. and Bochner, A. P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1).

Fabian, J. (1991) Time and the work of anthropology. Critical Essays 1971-1991. Studies in Anthropology and History Amsterdam: Harwoord academic publishers.

Fleckenstein, K. S. (1999) ‘Writing Bodies: Somatic Mind in Composition Studies ‘, College English, 61(3), pp. 281-306.

Gore, G. (1999) ‘Textual Fields: Representation in Dance Ethnography’, in Buckland, T.J. (ed.) Dance in the field. Theory, Methods and Issues in Dance Ethnography. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 208-220.

Hurd, T. L. and McIntyre, A. (1996) ‘The Seduction of Sameness: Similarity and Representing the Other’, Feminism & Psychology, 6(1), pp. 86-91.

Josselson, R. (2004) ‘The Hermeneutics of Faith and The Hermeneutics of Suspicion’, Narrative Inquiry, 14(1), pp. 1-28.

Land, R., Rattray, J. and Vivian, P. (2014) ‘Learning in the liminal space: a semiotic approach to threshold concepts’, Higher Education, 67(2), pp. 199-217.

Leggo, C. (2015) ‘Loving language: a poet’s vocation and vision’, in Walsh, S., Bickel, B. & Leggo, C. (eds.) Arts-Based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching. Honouring Presence Routledge Research in Education. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 141-168.

Leigh Foster, S. (1995) ‘An introduction to moving bodies: choreographing history’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 3-21.

Marcus, G. E. and Fischer, M. M. J. (1999 [1986]) Anthropology as Cultural Critique. An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Nabhan-Warren, K. (2011) ‘Embodied Research and Writing: A Case for Phenomenologically Oriented Religious Studies Ethnographies’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 79(2), pp. 378-407.

Ness, S. A. (1996) ‘Dancing in the field: notes from memory’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Corporealities. Dancing knowledge, culture and power. London: Routledge, pp. 129-154.

Pakes, A. (2003) ‘Original Embodied Knowledge: the epistemology of the new in dance practice as research’, Research in Dance Education, 4(2), pp. 127-149.

Phelan, P. (1995) ‘Thirteen ways of looking at choreographic writing’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 200-210.

Pollock, D. (1998) ‘Performing writing’, in Phelan, P. & Lane, J. (eds.) The ends of performance. New York: New York University Press, pp. 73-103.

Potter, C. (2008) ‘Sense of Motion, Senses of Self: Becoming a Dancer’, Ethos, 73(4), pp. 444-465.

Richardson, L. (2000) ‘Writing: a method of inquiry’, in Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (eds.) The handbook of qualitative research. 2nd edition ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 923-949.

Risner, D. (2000) ‘Making Dance, Making Sense: Epistemology and choreography’, Research in Dance Education, 1(2), pp. 155-172.

Sklar, D. (2000) ‘Reprise: On Dance Ethnography’, Dance Research Journal, 32(1), pp. 70-77.

Snowber, C. (2016) Embodied inquiry. Writing, living and being through the body. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Spry, T. (2001) ‘Performing Autoethnography: An Embodied Methodological Praxis’, Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), pp. 706-732.

Stanley, L. (1996) ‘The Mother of Invention: Necessity, Writing and Representation’, Feminism & Psychology, 6(1), pp. 45-51.

Ulmer, J. B. (2017) ‘Writing Slow Ontology’, Qualitative Inquiry, 23(3), pp. 201-211.

Young, A. (2011) ‘”Walking Between the Worlds” — from Shamanic Practice to Academic Practice in One Giant Leap’, International Journal of Work, Organisation and Emotion, 4(3/4), pp. 350-360.