Epistolary Fragments for an Anthropology of Loneliness

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Prifysgol Aberystwyth

Mythily Meher

Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau (The University of Auckland)


Loneliness is fragmentary: we can dwell, maudlin enough, in our own, but only catch fleeting glimpses of another’s. Fragmentation is taken as both subject and form in this experimental text as we attend to articulating an anthropology of loneliness. An anthropology of loneliness, we propose, calls for theoretical, methodological practices that court capture, but artfully elude it. Old friends now in opposite timezones, we decided to write to each other daily (almost), reflecting on lonelinesses we have met in ourselves and in others, in our fields and in our personal lives. In this tentative way, we attempt to centre—but only fleetingly—these qualities that skirt on sociality’s edges.

Author contact: brg16 [at] aber.ac.uk; mythily.meher [at] gmail.com

Citation: Goodwin-Hawkins, B., and Meher, M., 2019. “Epistolary Fragments for an Anthropology of Loneliness”, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 114-121.