24 November 2021

Object Exchange

Book cover
Cover: Designed by Amy Ruth Buchanan

Assistant Professor Trine Mygind Korsby has contributed with the chapter 'Object Exchange', in the book 'Experimenting with Ethnography: A Companion to Analysis', as part of the book series ’Anthropological Futures', edited by Andrea Ballestraro and Brit Ross Winthereik.

In the chapter, Trine Mygind Korsby and her co-author, Anthony Stavriankis, describe a collaborative experiment of object exchange. The object exchange consisted of giving up and giving over, problematic objects from field inquiry – a field inquiry about the political and affective economy and relations between Romanian pimps and sex workers, and a field inquiry into assisted suicide in Switzerland. In the chapter, the term “object” is used in John Dewey’s sense of worked over subject matter from inquiry.

Korsby and Stavrianakis argue that in creating an environment in which objects from field inquiry could be handed over to, and held by, another person, afforded moments of both relief and disquiet in the collaborative space, as well as new analytic openings and new relationships to their objects and inquiries. The book chapter describes what this practice of selecting and sending, holding, and receiving objects consisted in.

The protocol of object exchange is not a method, but rather a simple form (exchange) and a mode (holding) for a practice of thinking. Korsby and Stavrianakis argue that the result of such exchange is a clarification of the relation between objects and objectives in inquiry, for the inquirer.

Trine Mygind Korsby, Anthony Stavrianakis, 2021. "Object Exchange", Experimenting with Ethnography: A Companion to Analysis, Andrea Ballestero, Brit Ross Winthereik. Download in pdf.

Open access
The book is published by Duke University Press. The book is open access and available at https://read.dukeupress.edu/books/book/2902/Experimenting-with-EthnographyA-Companion-to