Thursday, April 16, 2020


This is our panel for the DISTRIBUTE 2020. Check back later for specifics about the VAOJ contribution...


Taylor R. Genovese (Arizona State University)
Can Tamura (Filmmaker)

Panel Abstract

This panel explores historical, social, and cultural memory as distributed phenomena in the context of performance. We envision performance taking several ethnographic modes (with the caveat that these modes are not an exhaustive list): the practice of ethnography as being inherently dramaturgical and performative (Denzin 2003); the ways in which our research participants may perform in the presence of a researcher; the embodied, performative use of multimodal tools, such as the taking of photos, the recording of video, and the sharing of digital media; performance as a way of disseminating ethnographic data, whether that be through photographs, films, dance, theatre, music, soundscapes, etc.; and performance as a theoretical stance—a hacking of the Aristotelian notion of “phronesis,” an applied, active wisdom that is set apart from analytical knowledge (episteme) and technical knowledge (techne) by taking seriously the social and the political (Flyvbjerg 2001). This panel hopes to raise important questions such as: what kind of shifts in positionality may take place when one takes seriously the distribution of one’s ethnographic and personal performative practices, whatever they may be? How does performance become a means of distributing collective forms of memory? In what ways can multimodality be deployed within the discussion of performance, memory, and distribution?

Additionally, this panel is interested in how one’s ancillary performative practices (i.e. hobbies or external artistic endeavors) can generate new openings within one’s ethnographic research. We are attentive to the ways in which performance can break down contrived divisions between “serious scholarship” and creative pursuits; for example, if a phronetic approach to ethnography is deployed, how might it disrupt the established positivist, Western conception of what scholarship, learning, knowledge, dissemination, etc. can and should be (Genovese 2019)? In what ways might ethnographic phronesis (re)distribute research opportunities and their dissemination in a more egalitarian and decolonial fashion?

With this in mind, this panel hopes to produce an experimental audiovisual presentation in which each presenter’s research is not individually presented, but instead is woven among and between the other presentations—illuminating and generating previously unseen elements. This sensory approach—highlighting primarily the visual and the sonic—will evoke a contextual collaboration through juxtaposition and superimposition (for an example: see Tamura's film Je Suis Snowed In). The entire presentation will be descriptively hard captioned—as well as include audio descriptors— in order to make it as accessible as possible.

Panelists & Presentations

Neighborhood Autumn Festival in Japan: A Multimodal Visual Ethnography and Performance Steven C. Fedorowicz (Kansai Gaidai University)

Sitting Gazing Gazed FUKUDA Pero (Ritsumeikan University)

"You're breaking my immersion!" Dispatches from a simulated war zone Taylor R. Genovese (Arizona State University)

Multimodal Spirits MURATSU Ran (Kyoto University)

Dragthropology: Queer and trans theoretical transformations through enraged comedy Pris Nasrat (Independent Scholar)

Beyond an Informational Approach to Memory Politics: Re-membering Personhood at Spanish Mass Grave Exhumations Jonah S. Rubin (Knox College)

Kiriko Matsuri of Noto, Japan: The Outsider's Body as a Resource for Maintaining Local Rituals Can Tamura (Filmmaker)

From Backwardness to Pride: Yörük Cultural Revitalization through Performances in the Largest Nomadic Festival in Turkey Ulara TAMURA (Kanazawa University)

More information:

DISTRIBUTE 2020 Website:

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