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The ethnographic case: series conclusion

This entry concludes the series “The Ethnographic Case” which ran every other Monday between June 2015 and July 2016. The bookCase, which holds 27 cases, can be accessed here.

 

One day, early on in the series, we received two submissions. Their similar anatomy was striking. Each featured a medical waiting room. Someone entered the space with a gift …

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Fixing things, moving stories

During her pregnancy, Puthea went to a private maternity clinic for regular ultrasound exams. This clinic was one of the larger and more popular in Phnom Penh at the time (2010) and one that provided echo poar, color ultrasound services.[i] Puthea preferred color to black and white scans because she could see more detail. Following the doctor’s narration, …

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Extractivism, Refusals, and the Mining of Failure

Is ethnographic research analogous to a gold mine project, an extractive industry that makes a social and material landscape knowable, and hence governable? Is knowledge construction a veil for narrative extraction, where knowledge is a commodity to be reassembled for productive gain? I ask these questions as a way to tease out the tensions experienced between me and my collaborators …

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Earthly togetherness: making a case for living with worms

In this short essay, I will try to convince you of the importance of earthworms in thinking about politics.

If this sounds like an argument, that is because it is. I first organized the materials in this essay to make a case. They were part of a public thesis ‘defense’ that took place in the small country of the …

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The discernment of knowledge: sexualized violence in the Mennonite church

This case begins with an unsettling email. It came from a powerful man of the church, a Mennonite executive, and it was a response to an email from me, in which I told this leader that he was perpetuating violence against queer people.

I was an ethnographer writing about the Mennonite movement for queer justice, and I also was a …

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Three Millimeters

The first time I encountered Judy I was with Dr. Erlich, gathering fact sheets about vulvar pain conditions. Dr. Robichaud, the other physician at the Vulvar Health Clinic (VHC)[i], and a new resident entered the pod in a white-coated blur—animatedly conferring, hastily scribbling on forms that they were pulling from file cabinets, and getting on the phone to …

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