Franz Boas posing for figure in USNM exhibit entitled “Hamats’a coming out of secret room”
Three Public Talks in Maltese by Michael Deguara
Anthropologist Michael Deguara will be giving a series of three talks in Maltese on "The webs of significance which we have spun: The Ethnographic Method" on Tuesday 6, 13 and 20 March at 18:00 in the Library of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Malta in Tal-Qroqq. These talks, which are part of a project of the Department of Maltese about Oral Traditions (It-Tradizzjoni Orali), are open to the general public and entrance is free.
This series of three talks explores the ethnographic method in its various stages. The first talk, "it's complicated" looks at the way the role of the ethnographer has emerged between colonialism and postcolonialism, the specific and the general, the traditional and the globalised, the "exotic" and the familiar, and between the fixed ethnographic present and the everchanging dynamism of reality. The second talk, "the toolbox", looks at the ways in which the ethnographer is called upon to approach social practice and look at this with new eyes, whether fieldwork is being done on the other side of the globe or in one's own backyard. The third talk, "pen, paper, mirror" looks at how in gathering data and analysing it, ethnographers are themselves spinning webs of signficance in a way not unlike the people they have observed in their research.
Michael Deguara carries out research for the Valletta 2018 Evaluation and Monitoring Committee, and looks at community participation and accessibility in the Valletta 2018 Programme. Intrigued by the oddities of social practice, Michael studied Anthropology at the University of Malta, graduating with a dissertation on homelessness. In 2007, he completed an MPhil in Social Anthropological Analysis at the University of Cambridge, studying the revival of traditional music, dance and healing rituals in Southern Italy. This research looks at how cultural events generate a sense of “social reflexivity”, in which people create identities through reflection and critique.
Michael currently works at the Ministry for Education and Employment and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta. He is also involved in campaigning for the protection of archaeological heritage at risk.