Experimental collaborations in Ethnographic fieldwork

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Con Adofo Estalella, Investigador Posdoctoral, IN3 (UOC, Barcelona) / CCHS (CSIC, Madrid) y Tomás Sánchez Criado, Professor, Estudis de Psicologia i C. de l’Educació, UOC.

28 April 2015 // 12-14h.
Sala Tony Bates, UOC, Avda. Tibidabo 39-43, Barcelona

In this workshop we would like to put forward for discussion the notion of ‘experimental collaborations’, with which we would like to address a modality of ethnographic fieldwork in which traditional participant observation is reformulated in practice. This figure of thought emerged out of our attempts at describing how to account for the different exploratory fieldworks we have been engaging in the past years collaborating with activists and architects in different projects in Madrid & Barcelona. In this workshop we would like to briefly introduce this empirical context and focus on discussing the introduction we have prepared for an edited book project for Berghahn’s EASA Book Series called “Experimental collaborations. Ethnography through fieldwork devices” (see: http://www.xcol.org).

AbstractExperimental collaborations. Ethnography through fieldwork devices seeks to describe empirically and to propose a reflection on a form of fieldwork whose epistemic practices for knowledge production are experimental and whose social engagement is collaborative, instead of participant observation as a social and epistemic situation of fieldwork involvement that maintains a certain detachment and distance.. Hence, grounding on a series of ethnographic projects in Africa, America and Europe we would like to show different forms of what we term ‘experimental collaboration.’ This compilation seeks to expand our ethnographic repertoire in light of situations that force us to engage in tentative research processes, destabilizing both the traditional role of researchers and the methodological conventions of ethnography. Although experimental collaboration implies a certain methodological uncertainty in the field and a suspension of the outcomes of ethnographic researches, we believe that it also opens productive instances for renewing the fieldwork devices for the production of anthropological knowledge. Experimental collaboration points out to a descriptive account of certain forms of ethnographic engagement and a research and pedagogic program that intends to intervene in current forms of ethnographic practice and learning.

 

Before the seminar the introductory chapter will be delivered to the assistants, please confirm at: eardevol[at]uoc.edu

 

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