SMILE! IT'S YOUR NLI: nine scenes from a sensory ethnography


  • Dara Culhane Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University


What if we consider an archive a sensorium, and ourselves as multisensory researcher-beings attentive to and curious about how embodied and affective experience infuses our practices as meaning makers and knowledge producers?  I offer this experimental piece as a response to this question, and as a provocation/invitation to readers.

Author Biography

Dara Culhane, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Dara Culhane’s current research and teaching brings imaginative and sensory ethnography, memory work, writing, and live performance into productive conversations and debates, and provocative practice. Dara is intrigued by political processes of life story making, performing, and witnessing. She is currently working on two projects: a manuscript entitled Encore! Travels With The Ghost of Margaret Sheehy; and, a solo performance of dramatic storytelling, Hear Me Looking At You. Both draw on family stories, archival and private collections of letters and photographs, interviews, conversations, and an ethnographer’s diary to explore shifting experiences and analyses of family relationships over time and across space.