Revisiting and Reframing the Anthropological Archive: the Harvard-Irish Survey (1930-1936)
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Anne Byrne and Deirdre O'Mahony (2013) 'Revisiting and Reframing the Anthropological Archive: the Harvard-Irish Survey (1930-1936)'. Irish Journal Of Anthropology, 16 (1):1-15.
We consider a methodological opportunity when revisiting classical anthropological studies, namely the social anthropological archive of the Harvard-Irish Survey (1930-1936). A gift of the Irish field diaries of Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball, together with the with familial and community effects of being written about in published accounts is our departure point. We explore the potential of collaborative research that is dialogical, aesthetic, community based and generates knowledge that fosters empathetic insight (Kester 2004). Our approach is a form of reflexive revisiting of the archive via field diaries and photographs from the 1930s, suggesting an alternative methodology for mutually engaging successor participants, artist and sociologist in transformatory acts in relation to community effects of anthropological research (Burawoy 2003).