Elise Billiard's Comments

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At 12:28pm on March 18, 2010, Caroline Gatt said…
Elise! Thank you very very much for pointing out that call for papers! No matter how obvious movements may look in retrospect, I'm still impressed at how cool it feels to find other people interested in the same areas... are you coming to our panel about engagement and training at EASA in August?
At 2:40pm on February 3, 2010, Caroline Gatt said…
Helloo elise... I had joined when you first sent me the link, but was soooo caught up in facebook and linked in, but I'm a bit bored of them so trying my hand at this now :) and you're here which makes it much more exciting xxxx

I might be in Malta over parts of the summer, but I thought about you when I saw the off the beaten track even because one of their topics is food ... so of course you immediately came to mind.

But I'd like to meet them - I didn't know there were 'expedition, research in applied anthropology' based in Malta... so what with my work with Friends of the Earth, the Engaging Anthropology in Practice project and Design Anth stuff I've been doing here I'd love to know more about what these guys do when they're in Gozo.

Oh and I saw you guys discussing identity below - are you familiar with the 2000 article by Brubaker and Cooper "beyond identity"... I think that if you are going engage with such a slippery concept such as 'identity' this article really helps to decide how you want to use identity and how you don't want to use it as a concept...

what are you doing anyway Elise... now that PhD is finit!
At 3:48pm on November 9, 2009, Jan Begine said…
Je parle un petit peu de Français, mais... pas tres bien... Regrettable, je sais! C'est comme on dit ici: Français avec des cheveux sur les dents! ;-)

Yes, I have read Sutton's book.

I agree with you on fieldwork. 100%. But how do you study memory in the field? Or such an undefinable/fluid concept as identity? By looking at facets of life like food, housing, religion, etc. And also through discourse analysis and such. But I find it very hard extract the right information to form a comprehensive story. It's all so... fragmented. How do I link the information I gathered through life histories to the information I gathered from participant observation during Shabbat meals? To be honest, I feel my education so far failed me on this part. But then again, this is probably not something you can learn/teach.

An other problem is the time frame: I'm learning as I go here, on the fly so to say. None of my classes up 'till now really touch upon the topics I'm studying for my thesis. That means learning the theory and doing the fieldwork are happening at the same time (on top off all the regular work for uni: papers, exams, ...). This leads to a constant re-evaluation of my fieldwork which in turn means only incremental advances in insight into the problematic of my research question. Quite frustrating.

Ok, enough venting of frustration here!

I'm seriously considering applying again for the Malta summerschool. So yes, maybe untill next summer!

At 3:10pm on November 6, 2009, Elise Billiard said…
I do not suppose you read French, do you?
if not I published an article in English in "anthropological notebook journal" entitled: "when traditions become trendy", you can google it and download it. It explains mainly how the Maltese elite is promoting an invention of the food tradition...
Regarding memory and food, you must have read David sutton and his "rememberance of repast" ?
Theoratically, I agree with you, there has been so many connexions between identity and memory but in reality each context is different. I am a true believer in fieldwork. I think the fieldwork will give you the keys... theory is a help, it comes after. the most important is to go and listen to what people have to say.

Maybe you'll come over next summer, during Sam's expeditions? I'd like to meet you.
At 6:31pm on November 5, 2009, Jan Begine said…
Hi Elise! Thanks for the comment. I would be really interested in reading some of your work on the subject. To be honest, I feel a bit lost in the woods... The link between food and identity or food and ethnicity seems clear, only, it isn't... If you know what I mean. The same goes for the link between memory and identity/ethnicity. Yes, I do know Sam. But only through some mails we exchanged. I'm hoping I'll meet him soon.


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