Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail

December 16th, 2005

This ethnography, subtitled Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool, is amazing. In addition to superb analysis that grounds complicated theory with real day-to-day living, there are bits that might relate to my study on interpreters in the European Parliament. An obvious connection is with RP, Received Pronounciation, also known as posh (p. 14).
The author, Jacqueline Nassy Brown (who will give a talk at UMass in Feb), is interviewed (briefly) on the BBC radio program Thinking Allowed (interview starts about 8 1/2 minutes in). In the book, she provides a two-page summary of phenomenology that’s quite useful (p. 9-10). Interestingly, she distances herself from it as representative of her own epistemology, stating “my point is not to endorse … but to lay the groundwork for one of the arguments that follows…” (p. 11).
Her argument is fascinating, involving the ways “people make sense of place-as-matter, a practice that includes reading landscapes and acting on the view that place acts, that it shapes human consciousness” (p. 11).
Broadly, Brown’s argument is situated to engage the question of “how we might theorize the local in view of increased scholarly attention to transnational processes of racial formation” (p. 5).

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