Journal article Open Access

Remembering Lee Ann Fujii's creativity and courage

Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine

I first met Lee Ann in 2006 when she was, or was about to become, a newly minted Ph.D. I did not initially realize she was so early in her career because Lee Ann was comfortable in her skin, a peer who engaged with my co-author Dvora Yanow and me in ways that made us remember her. (As I recall, Dvora and I had lunch with her in the food court at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.) Later I learned that Lee Ann was not your typical graduate student, having had a previous career in theater. Given that background, at APSA 2007, Lee Ann led the first Interpretation and Method (IMM) Conference Group workshop—Interpret This!—in an improv exercise, “Yes, and.” Participants were arrayed in a line and we had to pass a phrase through the line, building on it in this positive way—rather than a reactively-defensive, “Yes, but.” The point of the exercise was to learn affirmative engagement and flexibility for field research interactions. There was much laughter, as with Lee Ann leading, a workshop never felt stodgy!

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