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Dr. Murchison Publishes Book on Ethnography

Department of Sociology/Anthropology News


Julian Murchison, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Millsaps, recently published his book on ethnography, Ethnography Essentials: Designing, Conducting, and Presenting Your Research.  Dr. Murchison has spent over ten years working as an anthropologist in southern Tanzania examining the relationships between health and religion in a small town.  Through working with the healers of the town, Dr. Murchison became interested in analyzing the local perceptions of HIV/AIDS and the antiretroviral drugs that are administered. 

Now, he has used his years of experience in the field to provide a step-by-step guide to writing ethnographies.  In his student friendly book, Dr. Murchison outlines the processes and methods involved in writing ethnography from start to finish.  Ethnography Essentials also gives practical advice for not only taking field notes, but also how to coherently include those notes in your ethnography. 

When asked why he decided to write this book on ethnography, Dr. Murchison said, "Seeing students find the real joy in anthropology through their own ethnographic experiences is one of the most rewarding things about teaching anthropology.  I undertook this project in order to facilitate those experiences for future students." 

In addition to publishing this book to aid students in their research, Dr. Murchison also frequently teaches Ethnographic Research and Writing as well as Methods and Statistics - required classes for Sociology/Anthropology Majors at Millsaps - in addition to a few more specialized classes he is offering this semester such as Spirit Possession and Cross-Cultural Human Sexuality.

He also teaches a class called "Intro to Anthropology" each semester. This class is designed to teach students the basics of anthropology and ethnography, and the students are required to conduct their own research and turn in their ethnography at the end of the semester.  "That class made me realize that I want to be an anthropologist, and I am glad that I now have this resource to help guide me through writing future ethnographies," says Erin Sanders - a freshman at Millsaps - about Dr. Murchinson's Intro to Anthropology class and his recently published book.

Ethnography Essentials is available at Amazon.com and is sure to help aspiring anthropologists produce interesting, academic ethnographies.