dinsdag 21 februari 2012

Attending to appreciations

Appreciations are everywhere. Diners enjoy a tasty dish in the restaurant, readers love a book at night times, and commuters stop their hasty pace to listen to a string quartet playing in the underground corridors of the subway network. But how to think of such moments of appreciation? How to write about them? These were the challenges we faced during our last walking seminar to the sea where snow, sand and water variously lay upon each other.

Before this walking seminar Annemarie had sent around a brand new not yet published (or reviewed!) article with the title: Is het lekker? Articulating appreciation. The paper itself concentrates on the issue of articulating appreciation. Its main concern is with relations between ‘language’ and ‘bodies’. It has been written for a special issue of Theory, Culture & Society with the title Social theory after Strathern. Engaging with the work of Marilyn Strathern, the article demonstrates how tracing a term (here: lekker) may be a way to link up sites and situations without seeking a ‘structure’ beneath them. It also plays with what it is to write in one language (here English) about field work done in another (here Dutch).

During the discussion in the morning and the walk in the afternoon we talked about the article a little bit. But we mainly used it as a good occasion to think about the relevance of “appreciations” in our own varied research projects and, from this, develop a lot of new questions that arise from attending to appreciations in practice.