Decomposition as a Model for Concluding Collaborative Ethnographic Projects

Daisy M. Ahlstone (The Ohio State University and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network)

Collaborative ethnographic projects often begin their life expressed through feelings of hope and excitement for the empowering work to come. One important aspect for the longevity of community work often left unaddressed until it is too late is how to lay a project to rest when its intended purpose has been fulfilled. Communities are living systems, and collaborative work within those systems eventually requires a transition into new forms that address evolving needs of the group. This presentation offers an actionable model of best practices for closing collaborative ethnographic projects through a comparison to organic decomposition.

Part of 08-04 Metafolkloristics: What Should Folklorists Do?, Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm