The Healing Land: Research Methods in Kalahari Communities

  • Vanessa McLennan-Dodd Culture, Communication and Media Studies (UKZN)


The Healing Land (Isaacson, 2001a) is a vivid, experiential account of Rupert Isaacson's journey towards personal and community healing among the Khomani Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. This paper provides a detailed analysis of The Healing Land in relation to Isaacson's research methodology and interaction with the Khomani, examining how the story he tells is influenced and shaped by his own perceptions and experiences. This article echoes the journey of auto-ethnography from the inter- to the intra-personal. Factual, text-based information on the Khomani and a synopsis of The Healing Land leads to the incorporation of the author's voice into the article, as she refers to personal interviews conducted during research on the book, and shares inner reflections on the article's conclusion.

Critical Arts Vol.18(2) 2004: 3-30

Author Biography

Vanessa McLennan-Dodd, Culture, Communication and Media Studies (UKZN)
Vanessa McLellan-Dodd was employed as a researcher in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of Natal, when this research was conducted as part of her MA. She is currently a CCMS Research Affiliate. She has published on her Kalahari research in Visual Anthropology, and has co-edited theme issues for Current Writing and Cultural Studies <---> Critical Methodologies.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-004