Helle Bundgaard is an Associate Professor in the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Anthropology. She is a writer and teaches workshops on ethnographic writing. She is editor-in-chief of AntroStorier, a site for writing that is grounded in ethnography and explores forms of ethnographic writing.
As an anthropologist, I have been fortunate to work in a variety of fields, not the best career move but an enriching experience that I draw on in my writing today. For years, I worked with traditional craft producers in Odisha, including writing my dissertation, later published as Indian Art Worlds in Contention. When my children were born, however, I could not face leaving them behind for long periods of time. Daily visits to their nursery and preschool triggered a growing interest in how minority children fare in Danish preschools and led to Forskel og fællesskab, a book I wrote with Eva Gulløv. After years of heavy administrative work for my department, I returned to Odisha. Meeting painters and listening to their experiences made me decide that it was time to write differently, which led to the creation of Painting Stories. This brought me great joy and when I fell seriously ill, I decided to embrace this new path. I was fortunate to share my interest in a different way of writing with Anne Line Dalsgård, and we decided to explore ethnographic writing, writing Etnografisk tekst and later translating it into English (currently under review).
Institutional site: https://anthropology.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/23869