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Stitching methods and memories

written by Anna Harris
02/11/21

Anna has recently published a new article in the journal Multimodality & Society, in a special issue edited by Cristina Moretti on creative methods for studying sensate memory. The article is part of Making Clinical Sense’s experiments in sensory methods and learning, turning this time to texture and cloth by looking at textural methods as a way to tell stories of bodily encounters with microbes. It draws on Anna’s auto-ethnographic experiences and sensory memories of learning to make sourdough bread.

Embroidery of koji microorganisms. Photo and embroidery by Anna.

Here is the full abstract of Anna’s article:

How to render sensory memory? In this article, I speculate on the possibilities of textural methods which attend closely to textile forms, specifically embroidery, as a way to explore this enduring question in multimodal research. To open up concerns about bodily relations between humans, as well as the more-than-human bodies we share worlds with, this article focuses on sensory memory fragments of encounters with the microbial conglomerations of sourdough bread starter. I offer three bubbling, sour-sweet texts: 1) an archived auto-ethnographic account of learning how to make a sourdough starter; 2) a social-media inspired piece on the sticky home archives of quarantine; and 3) a future speculative citizen science project. These fragments co-exist with microbes I have embroidered on ancient linens. From the tangy strings of sourdough histories, and the tangled threads in cloth I draw concrete methodological suggestions for new directions in textural research projects, such as material fieldnotes and crafted data. In doing so, I join other authors in this special issue in the call for multimodal forms of ethnographic storytelling about sensory memory, in this case one that attends not only to messy entanglements with bodies but also their textural, material, layered histories extending into the depth of their surfaces.

Here is a full abstract describing the special issue:

This issue brings together 10 anthropologists who investigate the potential of multimodality and the role of sensing, as situated social practice, in the complex working of memory. Through video, images, texts and sound—and through collage, installations, embroidery, and drawing—we invite the audience of Multimodality & Society to consider: What are some of the complex relationships between memory and the senses? How does multimodality help us approach the study of remembering and forgetting? This introduction frames our work into current debates in multimodal and sensory anthropology, discusses our approaches to memory, and draws some of the common themes that connect our contributions. Collectively, we investigate memory as sensate, emplaced, and affective, and existing in a complex relation with temporality and practices of forgetting. We are particularly interested in the links between multi-sensory approaches and the possibilities offered by multimodality. We argue that the latter can help us think of sensate memory, and vice versa, studying remembering and forgetting as multisensory can demonstrate some of the potential of multimodal scholarship.

filter entries
Prize

Clinical dinner

by Anna Harris
November 16, 2021
Publication

Stitching methods and memories

by Anna Harris
November 2, 2021
Publication

Making measuring bodies

by Anna Harris
October 18, 2021
Multimedia

Physical examination fruit salad

by Anna Harris
May 20, 2021
Publication

Digital-sensory work

by Anna Harris
May 4, 2021
Publication

Germs, phosphorescence and solastalgia

by Candida Sánchez Burmester
April 28, 2021
Publication

Mushroom hunting skills valuable to future doctors

by Candida Sánchez Burmester
April 20, 2021
Publication

A fabric essay on anatomy education

by Anna Harris
April 13, 2021
Inspiration

The best laid plans often actually have quite an effect

by John Nott
February 19, 2021
Publication

A sensory education

by Anna Harris
February 11, 2021
Publication

Writing as a Craft

by Candida Sánchez Burmester
February 3, 2021
Writing workshop

Warm Memories of the Writing Retreat

by Candida Sánchez Burmester
November 9, 2020
Event

Dissecting touch

by Anna Harris
October 26, 2020
Publication

Postcards from the edge of another time

by MCS team
October 14, 2020
Event

Embodied meeting

by Anna Harris
October 5, 2020
Publication

Digital stethoscopes

by Anna Harris
August 26, 2020
Conference

Crafting Medicine: A Sensory Exploration of Three Medical Schools

by MCS team
August 19, 2020
Conference

Micro-histories in a jar

by Anna Harris
August 13, 2020
Inspiration

Exquisite corpses

July 27, 2020
Publication

Playful research

by Anna Harris
July 20, 2020
Conference

Our virtual 4S papers 4/4

by Rachel Allison
July 13, 2020
Conference

Our virtual 4S papers 3/4

by John Nott
July 8, 2020
Publication

Workshopping, the video essay

July 7, 2020
Conference

Our virtual 4S paper 2/4

by Andrea Wojcik
July 2, 2020
Publication

Bumbling through fieldwork activities

by Rachel Allison
June 2, 2020
Inspiration

Quarantine correspondence

by MCS team
June 1, 2020
Conference

Our virtual 4S papers 1/4

by Anna Harris
May 20, 2020
Publication

Digital learning

May 18, 2020
Publication

Sticky models

April 30, 2020
Materials

Fragile models

by Anna Harris
April 23, 2020
Event

Designing for atmospheres of learning

April 16, 2020
Inspiration

Pandemic ethnography

April 9, 2020
Reflections

Making do

by Anna Harris
April 2, 2020
Reflections

Digital times

by Anna Harris
March 24, 2020
Talk

A meaningful interaction

by Anna Harris
February 26, 2020
Event

Filmic humanities

by Anna Harris
February 19, 2020
Inspiration

Before UDS: where did Ghana’s doctors train?

by John Nott
February 12, 2020
Publication

How to Make an Omelette

by Andrea Wojcik
January 15, 2020
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (6/6): Dwellings

by Anna Harris
December 18, 2019
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (5/6): Visualising the workshop

by Anna Harris
December 11, 2019
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (4/6): Science lesson

by Anna Harris
December 2, 2019
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (3/6): Simulating candlelight

by Anna Harris
November 25, 2019
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (2/6): Imaginative ethnographies

by Anna Harris
November 18, 2019
Multimedia

Workshopping videos (1/6): Napkins

by Anna Harris
November 11, 2019
Inspiration

Movement Interview for Museum Motus Mori

by Andrea Wojcik
November 6, 2019
Event

Place and Affect: From Semmelweis to Soeterbeeck

by Rachel Allison
September 11, 2019

A life in speculum

by Sally Wyatt
August 12, 2019
Inspiration

Repetition in ethnographic writing

by Andrea Wojcik
August 2, 2019
Publication

Food for thought in medical training

by Anna Harris
July 31, 2019
Conference

The Body and the Built Environment

by John Nott
July 9, 2019
Event

Material thinking workshop

by Anna Harris
June 26, 2019
Event

Anthropology in medical education

by Anna Harris
June 24, 2019
Event

Making by writing

by Anna Harris
June 14, 2019
Event

Introduction to perfumery

by Rachel Allison
May 17, 2019
Inspiration

Practicing music skills

by Carla Greubel
May 16, 2019
Inspiration

Lost in translation, and in space

by John Nott
March 27, 2019
Event

Time for tinkering

by Anna Harris
February 21, 2019
Event

How smart is “smart” technology?

by Andrea Wojcik
January 11, 2019
Materials

Tools of the teaching trade

by Sally Wyatt
January 10, 2019
Materials

Christmas yarn

by Anna Harris
December 24, 2018
Multimedia

Cooking classes

by Anna Harris
November 26, 2018
Inspiration

Barefeet

by Anna Harris
October 21, 2018
Inspiration

Letterheads

by Anna Harris
September 26, 2018
Inspiration

Postcards

by Anna Harris
September 16, 2018
Materials

Wax museum

by Rachel Allison
August 6, 2018
Publication

Expressive instructions

by Anna Harris
July 31, 2018
Inspiration

Writing resources

by Rachel Allison
July 23, 2018
Event

Meaning and beauty

by Rachel Allison
July 20, 2018
Conference

Correspondence

by Anna Harris
July 16, 2018
Materials

The allure of the archives

by John Nott
June 28, 2018
Event

Methods workshop at UDS

by Andrea Wojcik
May 23, 2018
Event

Probes

by Anna Harris
May 16, 2018
Article

Tricks

by Anna Harris
April 27, 2018
Writing workshop

Beyond the elevator

by Anna Harris
April 6, 2018
Conference

Simulating touch

by Anna Harris
March 27, 2018
Conference

Dancing, moving, unsettling

by Anna Harris
March 9, 2018
Event

Skillshare Writing Workshop

by Rachel Allison
February 25, 2018
Conference

STS in/on Africa

by John Nott
February 19, 2018
Article

A month together

February 8, 2018
Event

Comparison as method

by Anna Harris
February 6, 2018
Publication

Working with bias

by Anna Harris
January 19, 2018
Inspiration

Holiday reading

by Anna Harris
January 3, 2018
Materials

Modelling movement in medical education

by Andrea Wojcik
December 13, 2017
Conference

Embroider meet surgeon

by Anna Harris
October 30, 2017
Event

Sensing with medical students

by Anna Harris
October 9, 2017
Materials

Pagers

by Anna Harris
September 13, 2017

We are hiring!

September 5, 2017
Event

TransPositions Summer School 2017

September 4, 2017
Conference

Ethnographic Experimentation #Colleex

by Rachel Allison
August 7, 2017
Event

Making an omelette

by Sally Wyatt
July 21, 2017
Materials

Tuning forks and electronics

by Sally Wyatt
May 12, 2017
Event

Drawing Instruments

by Rachel Allison
March 20, 2017
Article

Experimenting with collaborative sensory ethnography

by Andrea Wojcik
March 16, 2017
Conference

A sensory training workshop

by Anna Harris
August 29, 2016
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