syncopation as methodology

Jane Guyer, in her keynote to the African Studies Workshop conference, spoke of the temporal turn in anthropology and urged us to consider the artisanal nature of our methodological and representational confrontations with time, tempo, rhythm, punctuation, interruption, etc etc etc.

Tools we have: journals, detailed timelines, calendars, account books

Time tools of the future-now:

When I blog or tweet, I yield momentary confrontations with what’s on my mind, or what’s crossed my eyes.  My e-paper trail will make for great clues later on, tracking process and discovery.  I do not only reflect and record upon these as ethnographic moments of reckoning, but I indeed contribute to their rhythms and produce their temporalities.  [pragmatics]

I participate in the global e-etc circulation only maybe, because surely this circulation is so micro/macro-cosmically saturated, collapsed, infinite, it yields a flat simulataneity.    But I also create a record, a paper trail (e-etc), I make a beat.  My paper trail will make a sublimely irrelevant iota of anthropological reflections.  The beat I’ll track on this blog (and re-tweet elsewhere) is productive of my world, and my world is the only one I can do work in.  It’s the world we are all trying to be together in. [publics]

As anthropology citizenship, it makes the content overload of the tweetersphere/bloguniverse much more interesting as crafted practices of rhythm, time, and syncopation. [methods]

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