FOCUS!

19 Dec

That thing that I do not have! Argh!

It is not that I have not been reading. I have. This is what I have read through the year:

  • Essays on the Anthropology of Reason– Paul Rabinow
  • A booklet on the forest workers movement
  • Rohini Hensman’s Workers, Unions and Global Capitalism: Lessons from India
  • Aman Sethi’s A Free Man
  • Amitav Ghosh’s Circle of Reason
  • Paul Stoller’s The Power of the Between: An Anthropological Odyssey
  • Rory Stewart’s The Places in Between
  • Kirin Narayan’s My Family and Other Saints
  • Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh

(And presently issued from the library:

  • Rabinow’s French Modern and Anthropos Today
  • David L. Gosling’s Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore
  • A Difficult Friendship: Letters of Edward Thompson and Rabindranath Tagore 1913-1940)

This is most of what I remember, there were probably more. Pretty much NONE of this relates to Delhi (except A Free Man). And that is what I should have been reading given that my field work was in Delhi.!. Most of my academic reading has been focused on method, and I find myself drifting towards the anthropological method. This, after spending a good part of my MPhil deriding anthropology as a discipline for its propensity to actively hunt out the ‘other’ to ‘study’. It had seemed rather arrogant and orientalist. White man goes to study primitive tribe. Rabinow and Stoller have made me rethink how anthropology can be conceptualised and conducted. No…that’s not it. It’s more that while reading their work, I realised that my way of doing was more anthropological than anything else.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I’ve basically ‘strayed’ in my reading. I should have interspersed it with more readings on the political and economic history of Delhi to contextualise my study. The time to correct that error is short: by the end of the first week of January I will have to present my work and defend my title.

(Ofcourse, I could have read more. But then this was a tough year, mentally and psychologically and emotionally. Inner turbulence reduced what I could have achieved.)

Lesson for year two of PhD: Do. Not. Stray!

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2 Responses to “FOCUS!”

  1. Peter Wells aka Countingducks January 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    Good luck with your presentation, and may I wish you every success and happiness in 2015

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