Shifting Technologies of Reflection
Intergenerational Relationships and the Entanglements of Field and Home
Keywords:ethnography, fieldwork, Tamil Nadu, India, relationships, mentoring, home, field
This article focuses on the intergenerational gifts and relationships that have structured my experience of the flows between home and the field in order to highlight the deeply intersubjective and relational aspects of fieldwork. It considers the shifting technologies of reflection—the diverse forms of field-writing that I produced at different stages as intertextual mediations of my fieldworlds—present in an archive chronicling twenty-five years of study and fieldwork in South India. Excavating this archive—which includes traditional fieldnotes, handwritten letters, creative essays, emails, voice memos and visual fieldnotes—has sharpened my awareness of the value of analyzing fieldwork experiences longitudinally and offers rich glimpses of everyday religion and gendered social relations. These materials underscore the interpenetrations of home and field, life and death, and self and other and prompt me to reaffirm my commitment to centering the crucial relationships that develop in these contexts in my scholarship, teaching and mentoring.
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