SSSWARM Seminar Series | Methodological Dividualism: Experimental Methods to Studying Life in Bits | A/Professor Yancey Orr, Smith College
SSSWARM Seminar Series
Methodological Dividualism: Experimental Methods to Studying Life in Bits
Speaker: A/Professor Yancey Orr, Smith College
Room 441, Social Sciences Building, A02 and Zoom
Our existence is multimodal: we fly in airplanes, are told stories by our grandmothers, eat, use cellphones, and think. How do we, as single researchers, reflected these divergent characteristics of being alive? There is such blueprint for this in anthropology which has traditionally represented variety through the aggregate diversity of its practitioners’ projects. Whether or not the discipline is increasing or decreasing its thematic and methodological range is debatable. But, over the last 150 years, the expansion of knowledge in the human sciences, especially knowledge pertaining to remote and overlooked people, is not debatable. Part of this advancement has come by multiple research techniques—many of which are now forgotten. In this talk, I will share how some methods, which only now occasionally show up in the field, have yielded novel insights within my own career and how such techniques also raise challenges for researchers. I will anthologically present my work at on human-environment interactions, perceptual systems, and Indigenous communities in Southeast Asia and the United States.
Yancey Orr is Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Smith College. His research examines how environmental knowledge is produced in different social, technological and cultural contexts. He has conducted academic and applied fieldwork in the Philippines, Indonesia, Western New Guinea, Australia and North America. By developing techniques within cognitive and psychological science, his work aims to better understand how environmental phenomena such as visual or auditory sensations are perceived and categorized. He has held academic appointments in Canada, Australia, France and several institutions in the United States as well as serving as an associate editor of Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Orr, Yancey, and Raymond Orr. 2022. “Deception-based knowledge in Indigenous and scientific societies: American Indian tricksters and experimental research designs.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 12(1):46-62. Available here.
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