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Felix Girke


Anthropologists’ arrival stories have long served to justify, naturalize, and domesticate—often through humor—the fraught moment of entering unasked into other people's lives. This textual convention has been thoroughly critiqued, but no comparable attention has been paid to the analogous moment of departure from the field. The digital age enables both sides to maintain contact, a shift that negates the finality of earlier departures. This article engages the changes wrought by digital media that allow us to remain connected to the field. While this seems a humane affordance, it also means that it is no longer feasible to cleanly sever ties established ‘there’. When anthropologists leave the field, the field will likely follow them—on Facebook or Instagram.