15 Mai 2024
16:15  - 18:00

BAB, Klosterberg 23 & Online

Institute of Social Anthropology & Basler Afrika Bibliographien

Kolloquium / Seminar

Promiscuous Methods: Eros, Ethics, and the Ethnographic Imagination

Presentation by Anima Adjepong (University of Cincinnati)

Promiscuity is often associated with debauchery, lack of inhibition, and indiscipline, but it can also signal expansiveness and freedom. Both meanings usher in anxieties around maintaining boundaries of normativity, stability, and knowing. I often describe my methods as promiscuous to explain my research approach, which engages with various qualitative modes of inquiry to address questions about cultural politics, postcolonialism, transnationalism, diaspora, gender, and sexuality. The promiscuity I enact moves beyond the use of diverse methods to triangulate data and arrive at a stable, replicable truth that matches the empiricism of quantitative research. Rather, promiscuous methods begin from a place of unrestricted possibility, attentive to the ephemeral, relational, and the sacred in the pursuit of new knowledge. In my experience, promiscuity has been necessary to satisfy the needs of the material, cultural, and affective conditions about which I write. Yet institutionalized expectations for qualitative research constrain such promiscuity. In this presentation, I center the erotic as a guiding principle to show the value and promise of promiscuous methodologies for transnational, inter- and trans-disciplinary qualitative research. The erotic emphasizes an ethic of care, shared feelings, embodied truths, and the agency of researchers and our interlocutors. Focusing on my work in Ghanaian cultural politics, gender, sexuality, and Black diaspora, I map out how this methodological orientation expands the ethnographic imagination and makes possible profound ways of knowing across cultures, disciplines, and human experience. 

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