Ethnography: Shaping the contemporary field

Τhis course provides an opportunity for students to come into contact with cutting edge topics in ethnographic fieldwork, while at the same time giving them a chance to apply some basic research skills. This course is not a historical overview of the methodology of ethnography. To the contrary, we begin with the contemporary concerns and ideas of working anthropologists. Our main question is: what is—and what could be—the “field” of ethnographic study in the contemporary situation. In our examination of this subject we will extend our conversation beyond conventional borders to speak about subjects, such as the non-academic uses of ethnography (i.e., in marketing, by the army), the use of ethnography in other disciplines (i.e., education), the relation of ethnography to political activism and, finally, the future possibilities for qualitative methodologies in the contemporary technocratic university. This course, which is co-taught by the faculty members of the Social Anthropology section, is part of the “Open Access Digital Courses” of the University of Thessaly. Most of the meetings of the course will be videotaped. While this course is primarily intended for undergraduate social anthropology majors, students from other majors, who have a demonstrated interest in the subject and taken previous courses in anthropology, can be admitted after consultation with the instructors.


The aim of this course is to introduce students to contemporary trends in ethnographic research. Practicing ethnographers from the IAKA department, but also from universities in Europe and the U.S., will present their personal research, as well more general thoughts on new directions in ethnography. In this course students will also be instructed in two basic methodological skills: 1) the conducting of an ethnographic interview, and 2) the writing of a research proposal for an undergraduate thesis in anthropology.


No prior knowledge is required.


Ethnography Today Doing Ethnography I. The Interview as a Tool of Ethnographic Research Experimentation: Ethnography/Sound Doing Ethnography II: Field Notes Dual Channel Ethnography: When two Ethnographers Cooperate on the Field Digital Ethnography Ethnography Beyond the Academy: War and Business Ethnography and Politicization Doing Ethnography III: The Proposal Ethnography Beyond the Academy: The Museum






Instructors: Penelope, Riki, Dafni, Vasiliki Papailias, Van Boeschoten, Tragaki, Giakoumaki
Department: Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology
Institution: University of Thessaly
Subject: Anthropology
Rights: CC - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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