Christer Norström, PhD, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

An anthropologist doing crime fiction and documentary film: Can we make a difference?

This seminar will discuss the pros and cons of being an anthropologist writing crime fiction and producing documentary film. What kind of challenges are there and what kind of different demands are we facing in work of this kind outside our ordinary academic work? As examples I will read the first chapter of my newly published crime fiction “Att dansa efter andras pipa: en deckare om deckarbranschen” and show a section of our documentary film “The anarchist who walked to India and never came back: the art of recreating a rainforest”.

There are two major issues that have been in the centre of these works and which we may ponder over during the seminar: first, the idea of mixing popular science with crime fiction and second, the difference between documentary and ethnographic film.

As a retired anthropologist (although still doing some teaching at the department) I focus on crime fiction. However, I still do some work in my old fieldsite of south India, mainly trying to finalize two books, one about a grassroot organization among small farmers in the Tamil Nadu plains, and one about the history of the mountain region of the Palni Hills and 30 years of research in that area.

All seminars in the series.