Research in Pain

I’ve written in lots of other places about how difficult it has been to be a researcher in childhood and a parent since the ugly events of November 2016, and what the new American populism has meant for me personally and professionally. However, thanks to the supportive editors and reviewers at Anthropology News I’ve been able to explore that pain in pictures and words, here:

This is one of my few comics that are not funny, and do not feature Shane. This one is serious, and is about subjectivity, reflexivity, research, meaning, identity and most of all pain. It’s very personal. I have been very public about my writing process, so I’ll admit here that I wept the whole time I drew this piece. While I am used to a certain degree of vulnerability as a scholar-artist, and producing this kind of work does push one somewhat into the historical margins, I feel strongly that wading off the page and into the margins is an act of bravery for these times. We make new meaning when we expand our scholarship beyond what is smooth, knowable and digestible. Further, we defy fascism when we name its evils in pictures and words, with bright colors that say, unequivocally, we know what you are. Artists came to name names. Mind our swath.

Galman, S. (2017). Research in pain. Anthropology News, 14-17.


1 thought on “Research in Pain”

  • Professor Campbell Galman,

    I’m a teacher of anthropology in San Diego, and a long time member of the AAA (past president of SACC, Society for Anthro in Comm Colleges). I saw your comic “Research in Pain” in a recent Anthropology News issue, and I was deeply moved by it.

    I’m currently working on adapting the Cultural Anthropology sections of a four-fields textbook a colleague and I wrote ( University of Toronto Press is going to publish it as a stand-alone cultural anthro textbook. I’m writing to ask whether you might give us permission to use your outstanding comic in the book? I’m thinking it would be a very interesting piece for students to reflect on in the chapter on doing fieldwork.

    I look forward to your response, and will be glad to answer any questions. Thank you for your brave and innovative work!

    Laura T. Gonzalez
    San Diego Miramar College
    Professor, Anthropology

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