Drawing on extensive research among indigenous Kanak communities in New Caledonia, Nathanaëlle Soler (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) asks how to write about unspoken gender-based violence. One way to do this, she concludes, is by studying the distribution of power and speech that erases the voice of women from public and private spheres while at the same time exploring their silent forms of resistance.... continue reading.
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.... continue reading.
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.... continue reading.
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.... continue reading.