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Fieldwork Connections


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Tells the story of the intertwined research histories of three anthropologists, one American and two Chinese

Table of Contents

Preface to the English EditionAcknowledgments PART I: ORIGINS1 Growing up Half Yi / Bamo Ayi2 In the Shadow of the Han / Ma Lunzy3 A White Guy Discovers Anthropology / Stevan Harrell PART II: CHINA4 Yinchang: My First Fieldwork, 1987-88 / Bamo Ayi5 Getting Started in Southwest China, 1987-88 / Stevan Harrell6 Chasing after Bimo, 1992-93 / Bamo Ayi7 Getting Started Again, 1991 / Stevan Harrell8 First Contact, 1991 / Ma Lunzy9 Almost Real Fieldwork, 1993 / Stevan Harrell10 In the Month of the Snake , 1993 / Ma Lunzy11 Fieldwork with Muga, 1994 / Bamo Ayi12 Getting Further Implicated, 1994 / Stevan Harrell13 The Last Time I Led the Horse, 1994 / Ma Lunzy14 The Bimo in the Modern World, 1994-95 / Bamo Ayi PART III: AMERICA15 The First International Yi Conference, 1995 / Ma Lunzy16 Seattle First Free Methodist Church, 1996-97 / Bamo Ayi17 Collecting Mountain Patterns, 1999 / Ma Lunzy18 Conceptualizing Mountain Patterns, 2000 / Bamo Qubumo19 Celebrating Mountain Patterns, 2000 / Stevan Harrell Epilogue: Fieldwork Connections and the Process of Ethnography / Stevan Harrell Cast of CharactersChinese and Nuosu GlossaryBibliographyIndex

About the Author

Bamo Ayi is an anthropologist and scholar of comparative religion. She is deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Department, State Nationalities Commission, and professor of philosophy at Central Nationalities University, Beijing. Stevan Harrell is an anthropologist and translator. He is professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. Ma Lunzy is an ethnologist, historian, author, and curator. He is deputy director of Liangshan Minorities Research Institute.


"This fascinating book is the result of multiparty fieldwork, unfolding over more than two decades. It is a valuable, inspired documentation of cross-cultural collaborative research that will prove especially engaging and informative to all of those who, working across disciplines, grapple with the thorny issue of representing the voices of indigenous peoples and minorities. Readers who are interested in ethnic relations in China will delight in how the book succeeds in situating the special problems faced in the authors' research in the context of contemporary global discussions.... It also offers one of the richest, most multifaceted accounts anywhere of Nuosu history, culture, and relations with others."

"This polyphonic approach gives useful insights into how joint fieldwork between foreign and Chinese scholars is arranged, carried out and perceived by the parties involved.... the book contributes to a demystification of the fieldwork experience while at the same time drawing attention to the many layers of interpretation and construction that determine the outcome of personal encounters in the field.... The real attraction of the book lies in its account of how a stimulating and mutually beneficial relationship between scholars from different countries and cultures is created through fieldwork."

"This unusual and thought-provoking book.. would make a fine addition to graduate courses in field research methods. Its accessibility makes it ideal for upper-level undergraduate courses in anthropology, Asian Studies, folklore, and contemporary Chinese society and culture. Scholars in these disciplines, curators and anyone interested in the minority peoples of China will find this book useful and illuminating."

"Most importantly, the book exemplifies how a long-lasting collaboration begun from fieldwork connections is enhanced through conscientious and sincere efforts in reciprocity.... Fieldwork Connections gives us good stories of ethnographic processes of collaboration, and the marvelous accomplishment that perhaps could be achieved only through the particular chemistry among Harrell, Bamo, and Ma under the specific context of scholarly exchange at the turn of the century."

"This is a charming book and a good read for China hands old and new. Highly recommended."

"This is a jargon-free, readable revelation of the quotidian details and myriad tasks behind gathering ethnographic data, as well as the questions ethnographers must regularly ask.... a remarkably interesting, accessible account of how ethnographers work."

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