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Maybe the Body Does More: Trying to Dance on Collaborative Grounds in North India

Maybe the Body Does More: Trying to Dance on Collaborative Grounds in North India <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article reflects on one ethnographic method deployed during field-work in India in 2018. Drawing from decolonial, postcolonial, and feminist critiques of ethnography, I suggest that the type of “collaboration” that is often prescribed as the best way to navigate inequalities between the researcher and the researched may become more feasible if both parties practice embodying an unfamiliar relationship. In India dance is the primary expressive form in the community where I conduct research. By asking a group of women to teach it to me, I found we could momentarily subvert the expert-student relationship that is inherent in any research endeavor undertaken with people, but especially with a community where so many oppressions intersect to devalue and exclude knowledge in the community, while simultaneously supporting the knowledge I produce as expertise. When we danced we practiced, through embodied experience, what it is like for the outside researcher entrenched in the privileges of institutional knowledge to have her knowledge rendered inconsequential, perhaps laying the ground for research that could, in the future, be collaborative.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Collaborative Anthropologies uni_neb

Maybe the Body Does More: Trying to Dance on Collaborative Grounds in North India

Collaborative Anthropologies , Volume 14 – Dec 18, 2021

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
2152-4009

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article reflects on one ethnographic method deployed during field-work in India in 2018. Drawing from decolonial, postcolonial, and feminist critiques of ethnography, I suggest that the type of “collaboration” that is often prescribed as the best way to navigate inequalities between the researcher and the researched may become more feasible if both parties practice embodying an unfamiliar relationship. In India dance is the primary expressive form in the community where I conduct research. By asking a group of women to teach it to me, I found we could momentarily subvert the expert-student relationship that is inherent in any research endeavor undertaken with people, but especially with a community where so many oppressions intersect to devalue and exclude knowledge in the community, while simultaneously supporting the knowledge I produce as expertise. When we danced we practiced, through embodied experience, what it is like for the outside researcher entrenched in the privileges of institutional knowledge to have her knowledge rendered inconsequential, perhaps laying the ground for research that could, in the future, be collaborative.</p>

Journal

Collaborative Anthropologiesuni_neb

Published: Dec 18, 2021

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