Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
The process of anthropological fieldwork and research require certain elements of storytelling. But how do these elements work when ethnographers collaborate with storytellers regarding storytelling in the field? How do ethnographers and storytellers work together to create narratives about something so universal in human existence? Conducting dissertation research on storytelling in Morocco which is constantly being said to be “disappearing,” I found myself treading on areas that had already been trampled by other journalists and international media outlets: interviewing “the last storytellers of Marrakech,” including a group of young people who were performing weekly at a café in Marrakech. My first interactions with Mehdi, one young storyteller, were strained, and it seemed that he wanted to give me the same generic information he gave all the other interviewers. Over time, he understood that my goals were not to take the information, write an article, and never return, but that I wanted a real relationship to this tradition we were mutually interested in.