Footnotes speak to the larger body of text and sometimes reveal texture that authors push aside or readers gloss over. They supplement the text with important figures and notes. In academic texts, footnotes can be the site of snarky asides, important clarifications, and critique. Like academic footnotes, this group anthropology blog supplements the “main text” as a multimodal, anticolonial, and iconoclastic project.
Footnotes also evoke a sort of alternative to “fieldnotes.” The “field” can be a geographic space, but as one “goes to the field,” it serves only those who work away from their home, institution, or virtual worlds. The “field” can be a state of mind that one assumes in the duration of their research, but this mentality promotes an objectifying separation of the researcher from the community and environment in which they work. It is our hope that this blog can offer a different perspective which is inclusive of all relationships between ethnographic research and researchers. Footnotes are just that – notes made on foot as we traverse physical, digital, and social landscapes. The relationship with our research is one of close proximity.
Representation matters to us, in both authorship and content. We offer a space for scholars, content, and expressions of that content that challenge the status quo in anthropology, which includes Eurocentric theory, methods, publishing conventions, and other forms of knowledge production, as well as structures of power in academia, colonialism, Whiteness, and capitalism. Our opinions and works might otherwise be constrained in or entirely barred from traditional academic publications and other anthropology blogs. Our blog posts may be written prose, but they may also be poetry, photo essays, videos, or experimental audio.
As Zoe Todd remarked during the deliberation on our blog name, “The juiciest details are in the footnotes.”
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Header image: By OrbiliusMagister (Xerox (photo)copy of the original book) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (modified)