Out of the Study and into the Field_ Ethnographic Theory and Practice in French Anthropology

Robert Parkin and Anne de Sales


The present volume originated in a conference, ‘Out of the Study and into the Field’: Ethnographic Theory and Practice in French anthropology, held at the Maison Française d’Oxford on 22–24 April 2005. It does not, however, represent the formal proceedings of the conference, since some of the original contributors have not been able, for a variety of reasons, to submit the papers they gave on that occasion for inclusion here. Conversely, the chapters by Buckner, Capone and Parkin were written subsequent to the conference especially for this volume.

The chapters by Bensa, Capone and Charuty have been translated from the French, the first by Amy Jacobs, the second and third by the editors. Quotations from texts originally written in French have either been translated by the authors of those chapters or the editors, or else replaced by the equivalent passage from an existing published English translation. Due to the rarity of some of the original French texts in Rivière’s paper, there the original French texts have been retained in footnotes.

The editors wish to thank the contributors to both the original conference and the present collection, where these are different, as well as the staff and management of the Maison Française for providing the conference venue and refreshments. The conference was supported by a
grant from the British Academy, which is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank the publishers of this collection, Berghahn Books, especially Marion Berghahn, as well as Prof. David Parkin, the series editor, for their support of this project. We are also grateful to those contributors who commented on the introduction to the volume, and to the two publishers’ reviewers for their very useful reviews of the whole volume, even though we have not felt able to incorporate all their observations.

The editors are also grateful to the following organisations and individuals for helping them obtain the plates used in this volume: L’Agence photographique de la Réunion des musées nationaux (France) for the portrait of van Gennep; Harold Prins for the portrait of Métraux; Alex Baradel, Fundação Pierre Verger (Brazil), for the portrait of Bastide; Jean-Claude Galey, for the portrait of Dumont; and Christophe ervieux,
Archiviste, Direction des affaires culturelles et coutumières, Service des archives, Noumea (Nouvelle Calédonie), for the portrait of Leenhardt.

Last but not least, this whole project has proved to be a smooth and convivial joint venture between British and French anthropology, represented here by the respective editors, who both feel they have a reasonable knowledge, understanding and appreciation of each other’s national anthropological traditions and have enjoyed working together. They would therefore like to take this opportunity of thanking each other.Robert Parkin

Anne de Sales
Oxford, October 2009