Anthropology at the Ragged Edge of Silence

Reflecting on her childhood in Ireland and her research on Australia’s Stolen Generations, Fiona Murphy (Queen’s University Belfast) suggests that understanding the complex presence of silence in our research participants’ lives will help us to differently inhabit their imaginations and experiences, pushing us beyond silence’s ragged edge.

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Words for Winners: On Cultural Change and the Value of Volume

How do silence and speech acquire cultural value? And how may our interlocutors reflect on their own silences? Amir Hampel (University of Chicago) addresses these questions by drawing on ethnographic research in Chinese public speaking clubs, where he observes that the modernist need to speak out loud and with confidence contrasts with other Chinese values of appreciating quiet people and networking behind the scenes.

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The Works of Silence

Udeni Appuhamilage (Yamanashi Gakuin University) writes about the affective force of silence in narrative of war, and shows how silence can be a powerful way of being together in the ethnographic encounter.

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