Retrospective Roundtable - Invited Status Awarded
Invited by: Association for Feminist Anthropology
Of interest to: Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: The Visual
Mary Steedly was a great listener. She had an ear for language, for the density of words, for story, for the unsaid. She delighted in wit, turns of phrase, and allusion. A consummate ethnographer, she was exquisitely attuned to nuance and detail. In her own ethnographic and historical writing, she wove from fragments of speech and action narratives that never resolved into neat plots or simple messages, but hummed with often unexpressed emotion and resonated with an array of possible meanings. Her writings were deeply engaged with and contributed to conversations in anthropology on gender, narrative, power, memory, and media. Mary was a feminist anthropologist not only in her attentiveness to gendered experience and hierarchy in her scholarly work, but also in her practice as a mentor, teacher, and colleague.
This roundtable will celebrate Mary’s contributions to anthropology by gathering a diverse group of scholars to reflect upon her work and its influence on their own. Panelists will build their comments around a key word they associate with Mary’s work: telltale, ghost, medium, memory, place, audience, story, indeterminacy, gender. Collectively, these reflections demonstrate the powerful and ongoing contributions Mary made to our discipline.