Paul Stoller on the Future of Ethnographic Writing.
We are happy to host the full video of Paul Stoller’s lecture “The Burden of Writing the Sorcerer’s Burden: Ethnography, Fiction and the Future of Anthropological Expression,” which he delivered on 19 April 2016 as part of his visiting Simon professorship in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester. Stoller reflects on the importance of storytelling in anthropology and on the limitations often imposed by academic writing. He also describes the experience of trying to publish ethnographic fiction such as his latest book The Sorcerer’s Burden (2016).
Paul Stoller is one of the world’s most influential and widely read anthropologists. He has written eleven books, many of which having become classics in their field, alongside two novels, and writes a regular column for the Huffington Post. Professor Stoller’s work encompasses money, religion, film, writing and medicine. He introduced the new field of anthropology of the senses and sensory scholarship through his books The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology (1989) and Sensuous Scholarship (1997). Other major works include In Sorcery’s Shadow (1987); Fusion of the Worlds (1989); Embodying Colonial Memories (1995), Money Has No Smell (2002); Stranger in the Village of the Sick: A Memoir of Cancer, Sorcery and Healing (2004); The Power of the Between (2009).