An Ethnographic Poetics of Placed-and-Found Objects and Cultural Memory in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311534
Title:
An Ethnographic Poetics of Placed-and-Found Objects and Cultural Memory in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
Author:
Seibert, David
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Residents of the region just north of the U.S.-Mexico border experience migration and smuggling activities through constantly changing found objects on the desert landscape--a pair of shoes neatly arranged on a trail; a cross hung in a tree; a can of food balanced on a rock. Consideration of some found objects as placed objects, set down with apparent care by travelers unseen and unmet, demonstrates how the objects uniquely inform the perceptions and practices of residents who find them. Such finders speculate about the lives and movements of others by utilizing the objects as metaphoric figures of practice, tools that uniquely but only partially help them bridge knowledge gaps among multiple constantly changing variables in their everyday lives. The finding-speculating dynamic confounds a direct and easy association of found items with trash, of migrants with threat, and of a border wall with hopelessness. Residents instead craft a sophisticated and practical cultural memory of place in a region that is inhabited differently by day than by night, where tragedy, grace, danger, and hope fuse in unexpected ways. The objects and events that erupt into rural border life inspire a poetics that matches the territory. In a landscape of uncertainty, placed objects secure and extend situational understandings beyond common conceptual frames of epidemic, normalized patterns of violence and collateral damage that are often considered necessary conditions of life in the region.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
ethnography; found objects; migration; poetics; US; Mexico border; Anthropology; cultural memory
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Sheridan, Thomas E.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleAn Ethnographic Poetics of Placed-and-Found Objects and Cultural Memory in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlandsen_US
dc.creatorSeibert, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.authorSeibert, Daviden_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractResidents of the region just north of the U.S.-Mexico border experience migration and smuggling activities through constantly changing found objects on the desert landscape--a pair of shoes neatly arranged on a trail; a cross hung in a tree; a can of food balanced on a rock. Consideration of some found objects as placed objects, set down with apparent care by travelers unseen and unmet, demonstrates how the objects uniquely inform the perceptions and practices of residents who find them. Such finders speculate about the lives and movements of others by utilizing the objects as metaphoric figures of practice, tools that uniquely but only partially help them bridge knowledge gaps among multiple constantly changing variables in their everyday lives. The finding-speculating dynamic confounds a direct and easy association of found items with trash, of migrants with threat, and of a border wall with hopelessness. Residents instead craft a sophisticated and practical cultural memory of place in a region that is inhabited differently by day than by night, where tragedy, grace, danger, and hope fuse in unexpected ways. The objects and events that erupt into rural border life inspire a poetics that matches the territory. In a landscape of uncertainty, placed objects secure and extend situational understandings beyond common conceptual frames of epidemic, normalized patterns of violence and collateral damage that are often considered necessary conditions of life in the region.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectethnographyen_US
dc.subjectfound objectsen_US
dc.subjectmigrationen_US
dc.subjectpoeticsen_US
dc.subjectUSen_US
dc.subjectMexico borderen_US
dc.subjectAnthropologyen_US
dc.subjectcultural memoryen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSheridan, Thomas E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSheridan, Thomas E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBanister, Jeffreyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFerguson, T.J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSilverstein, Brianen_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.