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(L01) Lyrical foragers studies

Convenors: Thomas Widlok, University of Cologne; Alice Rudge, University College London; Megan Laws, London School of Economics

Abstract: Following up on the “fieldwork slam” at the Vienna CHAGS, we invite lyrical invocations of forager situations. Colleagues from all disciplines may creatively use text, photo, film, objects or other media to perform a sense of forager reality as they have experienced it. The audience is involved through a clapometer.

Keywords: lyrical approach, situations, emotions, performance, clapometer

Format: interactive activity—short presentations with audience involvement

Precirculated materials: to be decided


This session is not so much about the lyrical stance than an invitation to perform an aspect of forager reality as researchers (including foragers themselves) have experienced it. Lyrical invocation need not be poetry but can be any performance that invokes forager reality without the typical distanced analytical stance. The session is open to all disciplines involved in forager research. According to Andrew Abbott (in his “Processual Sociology”) lyricism is a genre of social analysis that is "not organized around a narrative of either a case or a group of variables". Instead of following an argumentative narrative or a causal explanation using variables these lyrical interventions should focus on situations and should be fuelled by emotional instead of theoretical imagination. They should be predicated on immediate engagement, on particular locations, on a state of being, and on the momentary and transitory aspect of social life, invoking images, emotions and the personification of things or people not normally personified. We invite contributions that are in themselves lyrical invocations of forager situations in the above sense. Contributions may use their own text, photo, film, object, performance or other media in order to communicate a mood, an emotional sense of forager reality. In not more than 15 minutes the contributors should evoke a situation in its immediacy. The session will give room to presentations by foragers (or post-foragers) and to researchers invoking their research experience. The goal of lyrical forager studies is to awaken in the audience the emotion and sense of a situation that the contributor him- or herself has felt. Involving the audience will therefore also be part of this session, continuing the use of the clapometer in the “fieldwork slam” of CHAGS 11 in recognition of the importance of the audience for a lyrical stance to social research.




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