The Ethnographic Effect: Imagining a Next Generation of Methodological Possibilities

Workshop for PhD students with Andrea Ballesteros at ITU. February 21, 2017. 

You are hereby invited to a workshop with Andrea Ballestero, Rice University, US, organized by the ETHOS Lab. The workshop problematizes the perceived gap between “fieldwork” and “deskwork” through an exercise developed by Andrea called Analytic Moves. As part of the workshop we will conduct training in abstract writing.
Following the workshop, Rachel Douglas-Jones and Andrea Ballestero will give a public talk on an experiment they conducted with other anthropologists, in which they used Twitter as part of ethnographic fieldwork. The talk is open for all.

During the workshop there will be ample time for questions and for discussing your own research in relation to the themes, methods and examples presented.

Program:

09.00-09.30: Coffee and socialising

09.30-14.00: Workshop w. Andrea Ballestero and Brit Ross Winthereik

14.00-15.00: Public talk by Andrea Ballestero and Rachel Douglas-Jones

Where:

IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaardsvej 7, 2300 KBh S, Room 5A 14-16.

Coffee and lunch will be provided.

Sign up through email to Rasmus Rosendahl, ETHOS Lab Assistant: rasro@itu.dk.

Deadline for sign up: 8 February 2017.

Maximum number of participants: 20.

The workshop is part of a book project conducted by Andrea Ballestero and Brit Winthereik. A few words on the idea behind it.

Imagining a Next Generation of Methodological Possibilities

STS scholarship draws on two distinct methodological imaginaries when considering how it produces knowledge. On the one hand there are detailed, meticulous and somewhat prescriptive guidelines to data collection, production and analyses sanctioned by particular scholarly communities. On the other hand, we find theoretically innovative descriptions of results based on methodological tactics that privilege unruly, creative and improvisational approaches. This panel invites scholars who wish to explore the space in between these two families of methodological approaches. It begins from the assumption that while academic knowledge production depends on methods and theories, unruliness and creativity are intrinsic to their emergence. We hope to recuperate the notion of the exercise as an embodied space of rediscovery while excising from it the idea of “mastery.” Whether being carefully designed or invented on the fly, exercises unleash intuition, invention and recuperation of generative traditions. Exercises enable the conditions for the ethnographic effect, which we take to be unexpected journeys with our materials after they have been generated. We invite scholars who have developed their own exercises to discuss the theoretical and political underpinnings of their thinking and doing. We will focus on the ‘mechanics’ of their inventions as well as on how their contributions build upon, expand, interrupt or redirect existing ideas. Recognizing that the promise of mastery is misleading and that methods are both generic and discovered anew each time they are performed, we open a space to consider practicalities and politics of methodological creativity and analytical innovation.