On the carrying stream into the European mountain: Roots and routes of creative (Scottish) ethnology
Since 2016, a diverse network of academic researchers, creative practitioners and cultural activists has emerged in Scotland, keen to explore the potential of a “creative ethnology”. This is in part a response to the politico-cultural and wider intellectual climate in the aftermath of the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, and to ongoing debates in the arts and academia. As activists in this network, and ethnologists at almost opposite ends of our respective academic journeys, but who share similar perspectives and concerns, we reflect in this article on the margins and intersections of (European) ethnology in Scotland through mapping our personal trajectories in terms of geographical location, institutional contexts, research foci and methodological experimentation. Given limitations of space, we concentrate on aspects highlighting the specific contexts we have found ourselves living and working in, thus illustrating the positionality of (European) ethnology in Scotland through our individual trajectories in their relationality, rather than attempting a comprehensive account of the field. Our focus here is on that emerging “creative ethnology” and its potential contribution as non-hegemonic anthropologies are becoming increasingly recognized.
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