Feb. 9, 2018

#MeToo: Stories in the Age of Survivorship by Emma Backe: Story Slamming Anthropology #1

#MeToo: Stories in the Age of Survivorship by Emma Backe: Story Slamming Anthropology #1

Welcome to Story Slamming Anthropology. This series features both innovative narrative and audio performance drawing on the deep toolkit and methods of anthropology.  The goal with Story Slamming Anthropology is to invoke the public  facing spirit of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, Melville Herskovits and many  others to speak to 21st century concerns from a comparative perspective  in clear language. The narratives here are based on juxtapositions,  seemingly counter- or non- intuitive linking’s of subjects, objects,  ideas, emotions, practices, or traditions that will intrigue, educate,  and delight. In doing so, the goal of these stories is to bring  anthropological storytelling to wider audiences and to demonstrate that  anthropology matters today more than ever.

This narrative, #MeToo: Stories in the Age of Survivorship, is written and performed by Emma Louise Backe

The reckoning of #MeToo has  ushered in a renewed politics of storytelling, one whose capillary reach  and discursive power requires critical analysis and reflexive  consideration of how we listen to and seek out stories. As an  ethnographer of sexual violence, who conducted fieldwork on a rape  crisis hotline during the Pussygate controversy and has served as a Peer  Advocate in George Washington University’s Anthropology Department to  respond to incidents of sexual misconduct, I wanted to situate and  historicize the #MeToo movement, with the recognition that the academy  must similarly grapple with the perils of harassment and assault. This  recognition of violence, particularly in light of the suffering slot,  must be accompanied by the acknowledgement that the anthropological  community contains survivors as well as perpetrators, experiences of  trauma as well as complicity and predation. By offering an ethnopoetic  approach to #MeToo, I propose opportunities to explore the gaps between  lived experience and knowledge production, one whose theoretical  intercession recognizes that a disposition towards care must also leave  room for hesitation and creative reconfigurations of listening.

Emma Louise Backe is a social justice  sailor scout working in international development and global health on  issues related to gender-based violence and women’s health. She has a  Master’s in Medical Anthropology and Certificate in Global Gender Policy  from George Washington University. When she’s not advocating on behalf  of reproductive justice and consent, she manages The Geek Anthropologist, writes for publications like Lady Science, and tweets from @EmmaLouiseBacke.

If you enjoy Story Slamming Anthropology, or are would like to share a narrative of your own, let us know!  You  can contact Adam and Ryan at thisanthrolife -at – gmail.com or  individually at adam -at- thisanthrolife.com or ryan -at-  thisanthrolife.com

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