chapter  7
13 Pages

Doing ethnography beyond China

The ethic of the ignorant foreigner
WithGabriel Bamana

This chapter reflects on an ethnographer’s efforts to find his place as an African ethnographer in Mongolia. Going beyond the established convention of an ethnographer and the ethnographic Other in an ethnocentric context defined by the West–Other power relations, it asks what happens when the ethnographer is an individual traditionally identified as the ethnographic Other, yet he/she uses tools from a western intellectual tradition to process and mediate knowledge in the universe traditionally identified as that of the ethnographic other. By not conforming at first glance to China–Africa studies, and other established traditions, the chapter demonstrates and points to new lines of inquiry and research connected to but going well beyond China. As well as demonstrating new avenues in African anthropological scholarship on Asia, this chapter offers insights into applied methods and discussion about method and epistemology in ethnographic encounters.