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Portrait: Ann Grodzins Gold

Ann Grodzins Gold, Bhrigupati Singh, Farhana Ibrahim, Edward Simpson and Kirin Narayan

Abstract

The longer you live, the more complicated it gets to tell your story with any kind of coherent theme. Now in my seventieth year—which, as it happens, I have chosen to make my last of full-time academic employment—I reflect back cautiously. I see a career taking circuitous paths with unexpected branchings, a career responsive to all kinds of pressures—economic and familial, interpersonal and intrapersonal. The directions I first explored through ethnographic fieldwork were evidently charted by experiences of my pre-academic life. After that, my projects large and small framed themselves in response to shifting combinations of what I encountered in one Rajasthan village in North India and what I heard around me at conferences and seminars and, of course, read in books and articles. However, it is fair to say that my reading often lagged behind my research rather than motivating it. For example, I immersed myself in memory theory only after I had returned from India with 40-some-odd cassette tapes full of recorded memories.

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