Ethnography Shelf discussion

Tupuna Awa: People and Politics of the Waikato River
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Feb/March 2017 - Tupuna Awa > Feb/March book - Tupuna Awa: People and Politics of the Waikato River by Marama Muru-Lanning

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Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Tēnā koutou katoa,

Welcome to our first shared reading! I'm excited to read this ethnography and have my brand new copy sitting in front of me. I also have a pen and reading notebook so I can take notes as I go.

Here are a few questions to get us started:
* What is this book about? Can you describe it in a single sentence?
* What is the author's main argument?
* How well does she support her argument? Are you convinced?
* How did the author do her fieldwork?
* How does this ethnography relate to other things you have read?
* What did you think?

Feel free to discuss the book here. I will make an announcement about when and where we will meet to discuss it in person closer to the time.

Happy reading!

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
PS - I have ordered copies for the VUW Library (paperback and ebook) which will hopefully arrive soon.

message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Bennett | 1 comments Great choice - looking forward to reading it!

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Jess (jaythom) | 3 comments So I got my first pay today in my new job this week, and bought it. (First pay and I buy books of course! I have Katerina's book on order at the moment.)

I'm excited to read this - a lot of my new role post-academia involves government and Maori relations (as well as Pacific and cultural/linguistically diverse communities in NZ) with a large portion of this in the Waikato. As someone who has a large interest more so in the Pacific and Pacific communities in NZ I am learning a lot about Maori relations and culture now to and I think this ethnography will help expand my learning.

Side note, if anyone knows how to access/borrow VUW stuff as a member of the public please let me know :-)

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Congrats on the job - sounds very interesting and I'd love to hear more at some stage.

VUW alumni can become library members for a fee, there's more info here:

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Jess (jaythom) | 3 comments Thank you! I've fired an email to them - $100 a year is nothing in the grand scheme of things :)

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Charlotte Weston | 2 comments I'll keep an eye out for when there's a copy in the library I can read!

message 8: by Jess (new) - added it

Jess (jaythom) | 3 comments Hey Charlotte - if you can't find a copy once I've read mine I'll send it your way - finished my current one on the train today!

message 9: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Weston | 2 comments Oh sweet thanks Jess!

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Finally making some headway on the book! One of my favourite parts of Chapter Three is retracing the hīkoi the author took with her whānau to gain permission for her research on the Waikato River. For me, it highlights her positionality as a Māori researcher and also her Kaupapa Māori approach to the research. I can't imagine how she must have felt when told by her supervisors to "omit the experience from my methods chapter" and I am impressed with how calmly she recounts this.

How are the rest of you going?

message 11: by Graeme (last edited Feb 28, 2017 11:07PM) (new)

Graeme Whimp | 2 comments I found Marama’s book quite exhilarating for its illumination of such important aspects of the history and present of living in the Waikato, and encouraging, despite the difficulties it also outlines, for its explication, unravelling, of the nature and consequences of the discursive shift from Tupuna Awa to Te Awa Tupuna. I was also impressed by the way it draws on such a variety of different media for its purpose. Among many other things, it is an example of a vital way of comprehending and confronting other re-namings that have run through the heyday of neoliberalism. Like Lorena, I very much enjoyed the account of the foundational hīkoi, as I had Marama’s relating of it on National Radio. But the power conveyed in large part by observational participation in that chapter made me wonder why it seemed not to be present in other chapters. Certainly there are interviews and pers comms, and I don’t want to make a fetish of participant observation per se, but it did seem to underlie so much of what is valuable in the book that I kept wanting to see more of how it was done and the ways in which it elicited responses. On the other hand, perhaps that just doesn’t fit with the exigencies of current publication. I should be very interested to hear other and alternative views on this.

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Copies of Tupuna Awa have finally arrived at the Library! The paperback has a couple of requests on it already but the ebook should be available by the end of the day.

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Kia ora tātou, I'm looking forward to our meeting on Thursday next week. I have been inspired by the book to post the following questions for discussion here and when we meet in person:

* what is the key anthropological question and argument driving this book?

* what makes something ethnographic?

What do you think?

Lorena Gibson (lorenagibson) | 13 comments Mod
Thanks everyone for coming along to the meeting today! It was great to hear your thoughts on the book and have such a stimulating discussion. We've selected the next book to read - Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (2014) by Audra Simpson - and I'll have more details about that shortly.

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