Ethnography 2.0: ‘The digital’ and the recursive transformations in the fieldwork modes of relating, recording/archiving, and conceptualising - SS2017




 Tomás S. Criado

PhD TechnoScienceStudies

May 19, 2017 and June 23, 2017, 10-12


For many, ‘the digital’ is just a new domain of research, a not-anymore Terra Incognita of ‘new media’ where new relations and ways of being, thinking and relating are being (re)fashioned. Thus, across STS, Media Studies, and Anthropology different strands of ethnographic work have sought to explore and produce minute ‘descriptions’ of how in such a region of the world ‘the technical and the social’ mingle and mesh in specific ways, opening up and unearthing specific forms of offline and online subjectivities and forms of embodiment, creativity and knowledge-production. And, to be more specific, how these are figured and refigured by the on-going creation of different more or less visible digital interfaces, archives, and devices. But what if ‘the digital’ did not leave fieldwork unaltered? What if, instead, it ‘re-described’ the modes in which we relate, produce records and archive them, and even how we engage in producing conceptualisations in and of those domains? That is, what if it ‘interfaced’ with how we could plan and engage in particular modes of research. Building from some of the discussions in recent anthropological work on digital ethnography, and drawing on the doctoral researchers’ own fieldwork or research proposals, this workshop will seek to discuss how to work our way through the recursive contours of an ‘ethnography 2.0.’ 

Doctoral researchers will have to prepare the required readings in advance to each session of the course, searching not only to summarise them appropriately, but also to address in small presentations in each session how they might be used for their own fieldwork or research proposal.

Session 1 (in order):

Coleman, E. G. (2010). Ethnographic Approaches to Digital Media. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39(1), 487–505.

Zeitlyn, D. (2012). Anthropology in and of the Archives: Possible Futures and Contingent Pasts. Archives as Anthropological Surrogates. Annual Review of Anthropology, 41(1), 461–480. 3-

Kelty, C. M. et al. (2009). Collaboration, Coordination, and Composition: Fieldwork after the Internet. In J. D. Faubion & G. E. Marcus (Eds.), Fieldwork is Not What it Used to Be: Learning Anthropology’s Method in A Time of Transition (pp. 184–206). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Corsín Jiménez, A. (2015). The capacity for re-description. In T. Yarrow, M. Candea, C. Trundle, & J. Cook (Eds.), Detachment: Essays on the limits of relational thinking (pp. 179–196). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Session 2 (picking one from the following):

Gubrium, A., & Harper, K. (2013). Participatory Visual and Digital Methods. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Underberg, N. M., & Zorn, E. (2013). Digital Ethnography: Anthropology, Narrative, and New Media. Austin: University of Texas Press. 

Course materialSS2017 Ethnography 2.0.pdf