Friday, July 11, 2014

Recent Reading...

           During my investigations of phenomenological anthropology, I came across an essay that described the practice between the human body and a single object. The Hand Drumming essay is one of the first writings that I could associate with my own ethnographic methods from the Internet-based collection project.             
            Shawn Lindsay stated in his Hand Drumming essay that he felt the experimental style essay was a success if it offered other ethnographers an insight to be able to integrate practical knowledge into their disciplinary tool kits.[1] Lindsay’s research associates practical knowledge with the engagement of an activity with an object and that it is essential for the subject (person) to have knowledge of that activity. He states, “For anthropology, practical understanding is a potentially incisive tool for rethinking its empiricist-intellectualist notions of culture, custom, norm, rule, pattern, and so on.”[2]   
            Lindsay uses the concept of practical knowledge as a tool to enable him to acknowledge his own experiences of learning to perform with the musical instrument called a djembe drum.[3] While Lindsay’s essay integrates the discipline of music with his research, I was able to consider his experience with an object with my investigations of everyday objects to form my collection themes. The one difference between Lindsay’s investigation and mine is he was in the beginning stages of learning how to “drum” the djembe drum. I am forming my collection on others and myself current knowledge with a specific object that is already integrated in the use of everyday life. 
            I have found Lindsay’s essay as a resource, especially the sections that focus on the “embodied” or social conditions from his experiences with practicing the drum and group performing. These sections not only refer to the body’s praxis, but also specific senses that are involved, such as hand-ear coordination.  I do consider the Hand Drumming essay a success, because it has made me consider my future approach with the individual essays for the collection themes when my project comes to a closing.

[1] Shawn Lindsay, “Hand Drumming An Essay in Practical Knowledge, “ in Things as They Are, ed. Michael Jackson (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996) 197
[2] Ibid 197 - 198
[3] Ibid 196 - 197

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