This course is an introduction to ethnographic research and writing. In the first half of the course, we will explore some of the research methodologies anthropologists use to understand, interpret, and analyze culture. You will choose an ethnographic field project for the semester and practice methods such as participant observation, interviewing, virtual ethnography, auto-ethnography, and visual representation. Weekly workshops will provide opportunities to reflect on questions of ethics, positionality, and the happy accidents that arise during fieldwork.
In the second half of the course, you will begin to write about your field site. Using published ethnographies as models, you will practice a variety of ethnographic writing strategies, genres, and styles including realist, reflexive, dialogic, engaged, and experimental. Our workshops will help you refine your writing and think through the effects and politics of particular representational choices. This course will prepare you to pursue ethnographically-based theses and essays in your senior year and is the preferred way for anthropology majors to fulfill the methods requirement for the major.