ISHI: The Archive Performance (by James Luna) at UCSD

A poster for ISHI: The Archive Performance lists the event details, superimposed over overlapping photos of the artist, a man with short grey hair and wearing what appears to be only an oversized red tshirt, facing and gazing into the camera, and archival images of native peoples.Ishi: The Archive Performance is a new work written and performed by renowned Native American visual and performance artist James Luna. In 1911, an Indian man walked into a small northern California town. His appearance inspired fright, laughter, and pity from the populace. Anthropologists came to the conclusion that Ishi was the last of his tribe and decided that for his welfare and for the advancement of science, he would love out his remaining years as a living specimen at the University of California, Berkeley’s campus museum. Based on archival work, James Luna has created a powerful exploration of Ishi’s life, silence, and the the place that he should hold in the history and cultures of California. By James Luna (Pooyukitchchum/Ipai) with Jeneen Frei Njootli (Vuntut Gwitchin) and special guest Tracy Lee Nelson (Luiseno/Diegueno) at UCSD.

ETHNOGRAPHY & DESIGN: MUTUAL PROVOCATIONS is delighted to list this event, payed for by the California Native American Day committee, and other sources of funding, as part of our conference programming. Because seating is limited, we urge conference goers who plan to attend the performance to RSVP.

Kindly RSVP at to reserve your free ticket.

For more information or upcoming California Native American Day events at UC San Diego, please go to:

For more information about ISHI at UC San Diego, please contact Julie Burelle.

George Marcus Reflects on Ethnography and Innovation at UC Irvine

** This is the inaugural post in a series in which scholars and practitioners reflect on ethnography and innovation, with a particular focus on the University of California System.**

George Marcus, a white man with brown-grey hair, is wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans, and standing comfortably with his arms folded across his chest, leaning back against a very large tree. The trunk of the tree is wider than he is tall.

By George Marcus

When I arrived at UC, Irvine in 2005, there was already a considerable and diverse interest in the application of ethnography to various disciplines, aside from anthropology. For example, there was (and has been) the work of Paul Dourish and Bonnie Nardi in Informatics, that of Susan Coutin, among others in Law & Society and criminology; David Snow and others in sociology; and especially for me, the work and interest in ethnography among those in the critical theory program (and especially in the now defunct Critical Theory Institute)—here the work of Gaby Schwab (writing on ethnography) and David Theo Goldberg (in a two year project on the effects of recent wars on US society) stand out. Also, the years that Etienne Balibar was at UCI were very special for cross-disciplinary collaboration involving core issues of ethnographic theory and method. There had been various interesting collaborations on a regular basis among these units. Based on this rich environment for exploring new applications and understandings of ethnography, and also on my own perceptions about how basic anthropological research had been changing in its forms from the 1990s into the first decade of the new century, I proposed the founding of a campus level Center for Ethnography, which came into being in 2005. From the very beginning it has operated as an international center, as well, for considering changes and innovations in ethnographic method, with over 300 international correspondents.