A Documentary Fiction and Ethnographic Production: An Analysis of Sherman's March

Essay Excerpt

I would like to discuss these issues in relation to a particular cultural construction, a film by Ross McElwee entitled Sherman's March. My main goal is to show how an analysis of films such as this one can help develop an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of ethnographic production. I also explore the idea that documentary film and ethnography necessarily involve the transformation of experienceinto "fictional" productions.' (Roseman, 505)

About the Author

Roseman is a Professor at Memorial University. 

"My research has focused on the histories of labour and consumption; gender; language, cultural, and nationalist politics; migration and travel; popular religion; memory politics; and historical consciousness. I am also pursuing a long-term interest in audiovisual anthropology.

Since 1989, I have undertaken a number of fieldwork and archival research projects in Galicia--an Atlantic region in northwestern Spain. One of these has involved a collaborative longitudinal study of the activist efforts of people living in the parish of Santiago de Carreira to promote solidarity in the face of a number of major threats to the economic futures of many households. Most recently, I have been working with European colleagues Xerardo Pereiro (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal) and Santiago Prado (Universidade de Vigo, Spain) on exploring the concept of "new ruralities".

I have also been involved over the last several years in promoting the translation of anthropological works into and out of English. A recent project dealing with this concern is a new book coedited with Enrique Alonso Población: Antropoloxía das mulleres galegas. Outras Olladas. One of my ongoing activities relating to this effort is editing the book series European Anthropology in Translation of Berghahn Books (sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of Europe)."

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