AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Unfinished Business! Part Two



research/research methods


This session looks at an experience familiar to anthropologists: the unfinished project. Work we have yet to complete often weighs on our mind, because we intended to complete the task but were ultimately defeated by time, by other responsibilities, by forces beyond our control. Indeed, the reasons a project are left unfinished may differ, depending on the stage of our careers, on the priorities in anthropology at the time, or by a host of other reasons. Now as we consider our commitments and inclinations going forward, what role should completion of these projects take in the absorption of our limited time? The papers in this session consider such unfinished business. This may have been in a long-term field-site research or perhaps in a newly started project we had to leave for a while and always meant to return to. It could be ethnographic, conceptual, analytical • or a combination thereof, a manuscript half-finished that was abandoned for some reason now forgotten or a particular piece of research only half done. Such unfinished business preys on our conscience, because it was never written up, or it was dropped for reasons long forgotten, or was almost finished but put aside, perhaps temporarily, when circumstances forced us to move onto something else. This session offers the opportunity, in a relatively formal setting, to examine the whys and wherefores of this very common issue, to revisit the project itself, and possibly to provide the impetus for suggesting various ways of completing it.


Transcript English (automatic)

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