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Ethnographic witnessing

Or, hope is the first anthropological emotion

Carole McGranahan

part of my life shifted, one aspect remained constant: the emails continued. Each week, and sometimes more than once, I received a request to serve as an expert witness in US political asylum cases for Nepali and Tibetan applicants. This is work I

Open access

Asale Angel-Ajani, Carolyn J. Dean, and Meg McLagan

Witnessing: virtual conversations In April and May 2019, we (this issue's editors) held two virtual conversations with three scholars who have made important contributions to the study of witnessing. Asale Angel-Ajani is an anthropologist

Open access

Witnessing the Unseen

Extinction, Spirits, and Anthropological Responsibility

Liana Chua

Unveiling the theme for its 2020 Annual Meeting, the American Anthropological Association announced: ‘Truth and Responsibility’ is a call to reimagine anthropology to meet the demands of the present moment. The imperative to bear witness, take

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Committee as Witness

Ethics Review as a Technology of Collective Attestation

Rachel Douglas-Jones

this special issue point out, witnessing is a matter of public concern, and affective power. Where reference to it is present, questions arise about who may witness, what qualities they must have, for whom they see, and the technologies their

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Witnessing and Testimony as Event

Israeli NGOs, Palestinian Witnesses, and the Undoing of Human Rights Bureaucracy

Omri Grinberg

family – Palestinians from a village near Nablus, in the north-east area of the Israel-occupied West Bank. The incident that was to be documented, and that the brothers were witnesses to, had occurred the night before: Jewish Israelis from a nearby

Free access

Natalie Clark

previously published 1 as part of my accountability to the stories I have heard and witnessed in my work with Indigenous girls, and the spaces and sites of truth-telling in which my writing is mobilized including the political, the theoretical, and the

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Weapons for Witnessing

American Street Preaching and the Rhythms of War

Kyle Byron

witnessing is “the plainest, most concentrated method for revealing and transmitting the Word of God, one in which language is intensified, focused, and virtually shot at the unwashed listener.” Likewise, John Fletcher (2003: 117) describes street preaching

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To Bear Witness After the Era of the Witness

The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka

Donald Reid

the “ossification of memory” and of rhetoric distanced from both the historical event and the victims being honored. 4 As what Annette Wieviorka has termed the “era of the witness” to the Holocaust comes to a close, Jablonka has pursued “the creative

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Visiting Rwanda

Accounts of Genocide in Travel Writing

Rachel Moffat

The massacre sites of Rwanda have become, like Auschwitz or Ground Zero, forms of museums preserved in remembrance. In 1995, Philip Gourevitch traveled to Rwanda to see them, explaining that he wanted to gain some understanding of the recent atrocities. Gourevitch forces himself to look because this enables him to present a detailed journalistic account but, more uncomfortably, he is satisfying his own curiosity, as tourists do. Dervla Murphy's Visiting Rwanda (1998) is a similarly intense account of time spent with NGOs, visiting survivors, and hearing excruciating accounts of the genocide. Such graphic accounts of time spent in a war zone raise issues concerning curiosity about death and sites of atrocity. The writers must address the issue of the extent of their own curiosity and also demonstrate that they have a reason to publish such sensitive matter. Gourevitch and Murphy, therefore, must be aware of a difficult paradox in their work: the intensity of events represented in their narratives makes their accounts more pressing but, as a result, they may be said to profit from the conflict.

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Liana Chua and Omri Grinberg

‘My responsibility is to tell the truth’ On 27 September 2018, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford stood before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee as a witness in a case that polarized the nation. Ford had alleged that