donderdag 28 september 2017

Last Walking Seminar September 22nd

Last Friday September 22nd, 13 scholars walk-talked a hike from Overveen to Sandpoort-Noord, discussing the topic: Questions to do with doings.
What started off as a rainy introduction round at the platform in Overveen, turned into a beautiful, sunny hike along dunes, a fairy-tale-like swan-lake and early-autumn-coloured woods. 

 As we walked, we discussed about ways to capture practices and doings in ethnographic fieldwork and writing. How to phrase questions in ways that will help us understanding what our interlocutors do- and that they might take for granted? How to write about practices in a way that is not just descriptive? How to create a text that is touching (or provocative) while writing about practices that are often mundane? These discussions also brought us back to more fundamental questions, such as: why is it that in this specific research, we want to study practices, rather than narratives for example, or what do we mean by “practices” in the first place? Meanwhile, the walk reminded us to keep looking around, to not just look down to our feet but also up to the tips of the trees. Sometimes lost in deep or confusing thoughts, we were interrupted by small details that reminded us to keep our feet on the ground. 

Tired, but “good tired”, we checked in at Station Sandpoort-Noord around 5 pm to take the train back to Amsterdam. Although we didn’t gather our thoughts into a final collective conclusion, the array of topics and questions that was discussed reminded us of the importance and challenges of staying with practices.

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