Energy, Imagination and Courage

“Moral and ethical questions get stirred to the surface because ethnographers of performance explode the notion of aesthetic distance…

Instead of worrying about maintaining aesthetic distance, ethnographers try to bring ‘the enormously distant enormously close without becoming any less far away’…

When one keeps intellectual, aesthetic, or any other kind of distance from the other, ethnographers worry that other people will be held at an ethical and moral remove as well…

There is no null hypothesis in the moral universe…

Never has a sense of the other seemed more crucial for our own humanity…

When we have true respect for the difference of other cultures, then we grant them the potential for challenging our own culture. Genuine dialogical engagement is at least a two-way thoroughfare…

But what are the qualities one absolutely needs before joining the conversation? Three indispensables, according to Glassie: energy, imagination, and courage.”


These exerts are taken from a paper called “Performing as a Moral Act: Ethical Dimensions of the Ethnography of Performance” by Dwight Conquergood (2003) EBSCO Publishing


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