Graduate Fellows Forum: Lydia Rodríguez
The Time Has Come: Ethnography, Gesture Research, and Digital Technology
PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Scholars’ Lab Fellow
Dr. Eve Danziger
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Virginia
In Western societies, time is usually perceived as a linear progression of events, but not all cultures think about and experience time in this particular way. In this presentation I analyze the relationship among linguistic, conceptual, and cultural notions of time through ethnographic observation of spoken interactions in Chol, a Maya language spoken in Chiapas, Mexico. In particular, I describe how the concept of time is depicted in the spontaneous gestures which are produced in conversational exchanges among speakers of Chol Maya. I also discuss the role that digital technology has played in the collection and analysis of gestural data, and how digital tools can be used to complement and enhance traditional ethnographic research about temporal conceptualization.