19 August 2020

Anthropology Inside Out: Fieldworkers taking Notes

Anthropology Inside Out: Fieldworkers Taking Notes

The anthropological practice is turned inside out in a new anthology from Sean Kingston Publishing, where field notes, which often live a hidden life in worn-out notebooks and as files on hard disks, are pulled into the light.

Associate Professor Cecilie Rubow has contributed to the book as both editor and author. Together with Ester Fritsch and Marianne Hedegaard, she has written the chapter ‘An ecology of notes in a utopian fieldwork’ based on the collaborative project Utopia, where 100 students went into the field for a single day.

PhD student Sofie Isager Ahl has also written a chapter on field notes, ‘The ‘proto-language’ of anthropological practice: An exhibition of original field notes’, drawing on an exhibition from 2016, where the curation of field notes showed how field notes are not only written in a language that has its own value, but also has an impact on the individual's development as an anthropologist.

In addition to Rubow, Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen, Anne Line Dalsgård, Mette Lindkusk, Maria Nielsen and Mikkel Rytter have been responsible for the editing.

Interested readers have the opportunity to read the book as a PDF, which has been published as 'Open Access '. It is also possible to order a printed version: Fieldworkers Taking Notes


This extremely timely and original book starts a long overdue discussion within anthropology on these matters. The authors are to be commended for filling a gap in the methodology literature, which was so glaring until now as to be invisible to most of us.

Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo