Volume 3, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)                   Anthropol Stud 2020, 3(1): 58-75 | Back to browse issues page

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Naficy N. Persian Miniature Writing: The Biography of an Ethnographic Method. Anthropol Stud. 2020; 3 (1) :58-75
URL: http://pc.richt.ir/article-4-318-en.html
Assistant Professor, Deptartment of Cultural Studies, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (1295 Views)
"Persian Miniature" refers here to a particular art form (mostly book illustrations) which has remained fairly constant in terms of theme and style over the span of the 13th to 18th centuries, more or less across the area from today's Turkey to India. The question is how certain stylistic features of this form might inspire strategies for writing ethnographically about contemporary Iranian experiences, and what is at stake in such an attempt.  Obviously this would consist of an act of translation on several levels, from a visual art tradition to a social science writing design.  Yet if we believe that style is about more than just form of (re)presentation and embodies also a way of relating to and being in the world, then what is at stake is more than just visual-to-writing, art-to-science, or old-to-contemporary translation.  It also involves an exploration of the contexts and subjectivities that give rise to and are engendered by this form of being in and relating to the world.  "Persian Miniature Writing" attempts to do just that, in three acts or encounters, each revolving around a kind of "thinking with" a contemporary anthropologist:  Act One, An Inspiring Form, thinking with Julie Taylor; Act Two, Persian Poesis, thinking with Michael M. J. Fischer; and Act Three, Eye in Eye with Language Ideologies and Theories of Meaning, thinking with Kim Fortun. In so doing, this essay attempts to also distance itself from mechanistic approaches to "research methods" and tell instead the life-story or biography of "Persian Miniature Writing" as a sort of ethnographic design, strategy, or indeed, "method" in a broad sense.
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Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Intangible culture
Received: 2019/12/11 | Accepted: 2020/02/11 | Published: 2020/03/20

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