Anthropology | Life Histories
E600 | 0502 | Clark


Ethnographers and those applying ethnographic methods within other
disciplines are choosing to work with life histories more often because of
their accessibility, emotional impact and dept of integrated,
multidimensional insight.  This time-honored but also avant-garde genre
offers a deceptively simple, transparent opening for authentic voices and
experiences, concealing complex questions of power and knowledge.  We
consider the issues and choices framing and underlying this type of
research, from its placement in the research design through alternative
interviewing techniques, ethical issues of consent and confidentiality,
writing or editing strategies, to interpretive and epistemological
debates.  We read and discuss classic examples, methodological studies,
recent collections of narratives and contemporary experimental texts.
Class assignments include a journal, practice interviews, take-home essays
and a research paper.