Chapter

Presence and Representation

Johannes Fabian

in Out of Our Minds

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221222
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923935 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221222.003.0010
Presence and Representation

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Nearing the end of the journey through the minds of travelers in central Africa, this chapter comes back to choices made at the outset, and looks at one genre of writing: The travelogue addressed to a wide readership. The explorers' reports of ethnographic practices in turn allow one to take part in the epistemological critique of ethnography. The discussion aims to understand metonymic connections between exploration and ethnography. There are contiguous, albeit not necessarily continuous, links between past and present research practices and discursive habits. Both have been part of the history of economic and political relations between Africa and the nations where most work in the profession today. Colonial relations are present now in routines and conventions of research and writing. The chapter ends with comments on illustrations and the myth of exploration kept alive, above all, in visual images.

Keywords: ethnography; exploration; ethnographic practices; Africa; political relations; colonial relations; visual images

Chapter.  9900 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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