June 15, 2006
thinking, re-thinking and thinking the unthinkable about syncretism.
Long time, no see. I finished my diary review, it was fine, as I said on the last entry, it was a funny, ambiguos, maybe even dialectical situation. Soon after that I started to write an article for the XI congress of the Association for Latin American Religion Studies to be realized on July in São Paulo. I'll present a paper about syncretism among the Hereros of Namibia, relating this with the Afro-brazilian syncretisms.
During my writings, while I was reading some books about it (maybe later I will post some reviews about these books) I founded myself facing some issues that now I know, is what I want to work from now one. On all those readings I had one that really made me think, re-think and think the unthinkable about syncretism. It was clearly the ideas of Stewart about one anthropology of syncretism - based on a meta-syncretism within the contexts of each individual and using the concept of frames to anayse different commitments -, Ferretti's book "Re-thinking Syncretism", and some Peter Berger's texts about secularization, pluralism and the nowadays desecularization that have been surrounding my mind these days.
Well, it's hard to say what I'm thinking about these ideas, I'm trying to compile all of it inside my head. I have some logic I'm trying to line from the pluralistic situation forward some modified view about the secularization thesis - although I think I will not use it any more, I dont know - and, using some of Durkheim's ideas of religion as a way to survive from our existence problems, aproximate the syncretistic formations as made up for individuals on the quest for their existence problems.
Yeah, it's much more complicate than that, I'm just trying to breath life again on this blog, I'll try to post more issues here and bring some discussions. I'm just reading a lot, trying to read more and more about all these, trying to close these theoretical issues and, furthermore, close it inside my head, trying to think the unthinkable.
Good luck to all of us.
March 16, 2006
Today I've finally started working on my "database". After yesterday talk with my professor (Dr. Airton Jungblot) we decided to start doing some quick notes so I can vizualize better all the issues I worked there and start to separate all good ethnographic data and that means to read all my fieldwork huge diary.
I was completly surrounded by an strange feeling of déjà vu, feeling the same I felt on those moments, and my reaction was the best, I started to feel angry, sad and happy again. When I stopped working to go back home I was really trying to take me out from "there" again and this funny and new liminar position - when I need to create a new hybrid object, constructed between the "here me" and the "there me", interpreting the interpretation of the interpretation of those Herero realities - make me love anthropology and our master piece, ethnograpy.
It's now the best moment to remember that Clifford citation, when he says
"Ethnography writing is determined in at least six ways: (1) Contextually (it draws from and creates meaningful social milieux); (2) Rhetorically (it uses and is used by expressive conventions); (3) Institutionally (one writes within, and against, specific traditions, disciplines, audiences); (4) Generically (an ethnography is usually distinguishable from a novel or a travel account); (5) Politically (the authority to represent cultural realities is unequally shared and at times contested); (6) Historically (all the above conventions and constraints are changing). These determinations govern the inscription of coherent ethnographic fictions"
So, with all that on mind I've started my second ethnography, my "homework" and thats what i will reflect from this day on, until the next ethnography experience - that is already on my M.A plans, we cant stop planning.