Prof. Gilman Publishes New Book

Prof. Gilman Publishes New Book

Dr. Lisa Gilman, Professor in Folklore Studies, English, Public Humanities, has published a new book with John Fenn, Handbook for Folklore and Ethnomusicology Fieldwork (Indiana University Press, 2019).

The book offers a comprehensive review of the ethnographic process for developing a project, implementing the plan, and completing and preserving the data collected. Throughout, readers will find a detailed methodology for conducting different types of fieldwork, in a variety of settings (domestic, foreign, and online), tips and tricks for key elements like budgeting and funding, and practical advice and examples gleaned from the authors own fieldwork experiences.

This handbook helps fieldworkers fully grasp and understand the ways in which power, gender, ethnicity, and other identity categories are ever present in fieldwork and guides students to think through these dynamics at each stage of research. Written accessibly for those working in different settings, media, and on projects of varying sizes, the book prepares readers for the excitement, challenges, and rewards of ethnographic research.

Gilman and Fenn brought different strengths to the project. Gilman said, “We’ve each done fieldwork in a lot of different contexts internationally and domestically as well as for a lot of different types of fieldwork products.” Fenn has strengths in technology, while Gilman’s background is in theoretical and ethical issues associated with fieldwork. While the book’s scope is ambitious, Gilman hopes it will be useful for others who are training and learning about ethnography such as academic ethnographers, public sector workers, and lay fieldworkers alike.

Gilman’s other books include My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (Wesleyan University Press, 2016), The Dance of Politics: Performance, Gender, and Democratization in Malawi (Temple University Press, 2009), and the co-edited volumes Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent (with Oluwakemi M. Balogun, Melissa Graboyes, and Habib Iddrisu, Ohio Univeristy Press, 2019) andUNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage (with Michael Dylan Foster, Indiana University Press, 2015). She also produced the documentary Grounds for Resistance about the anti-war activism of U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Gilman teaches courses in folklore, public humanities, ethnographic fieldwork, digital storytelling, gender and sexuality, and African Studies.