In This Issue:
Sarah Rubin writes from Cape Town
For me, finding The Spoiler hasn’t just been an obstacle to overcome, but an integral part of my fieldwork process. It helped me to understand, in a surprising way, Xhosa motherhood and emotion through the lens of race and historical oppression, which has been invaluable to my nascent analysis. And learning to shed the parts of my behavior and mindset that are “too white” has helped me to get closer to my research participants in ways that that didn’t seem possible a year ago. My professors were right, you do have to becognizant of your predecessors and clean up their mess before you can do your “good” work, and all you need is a new twist on the basic tenants of ethnographic inquiry—be open, be patient, keep your perspective, let go of your “self,” be culturally relative, remain inquisitive, and don’t be too hard on yourself.