Week 5: September 30: On Collaboration

Via Present & Correct

🚨🚨 We’ll be meeting virtually this week, to allow for open conversation with our external partners.

Today we’ll discuss what it means to think of ethnography as a collaborative and “patchworked” enterprise, rather than a solo one, and at 2:45 we’ll meet with Mona Sloane, Jordan Kraemer, and Stephen Sullivan of the Terra Incognita collaborative ethnography project, which examined digital public spaces in NYC during the pandemic. 

To Prepare for Today:

  • Optional (Most Likely of Interest to Anthropology Grad Students): How does collaboration fit into the history and contemporary landscape of anthropology? Read Dominic Boyer and George E. Marcus, “Collaborative Ethnography Today: A Collection of Exceptions” in Boyer and Marcus, Collaborative Anthropology Today: A Collection of Exceptions (Cornell University Press, 2020): 1-21.
    • See also Tim Elfenbein’s Twitter thread (May 17, 2021) on the omission of activist and industry-based collaborative anthropological work; then visit EPIC, browse around, and search for resources on “collaboration.” 
  • Let’s now consider how collaboration has informed a few ethnographic projects. Skim through the website for the Terra Incognita project and read Mona Sloane and Jordan Kraemer, “Introduction” and “Methodology” in Terra Incognita NYC: Mapping New York City’s New Digital Public Spaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak (New York University and New_Public, 2020): 6-16. The authors have asked that you come prepared with questions! 
    • As we consider the design of our own collaborative research process, what might we be prompted to observe and analyze in OHNY’s process? 
  • Optional: Skim through the following two projects: the first links researchers in geography, environmental studies, and politics; and the second brings together health policy researchers and medical practitioners (you’re welcome to skip the by-now-familiar discussions about team ethnography vs. solo fieldwork in both articles!):  
  • Let’s think about experimentation as an integral part of collaborative ethnography. Read Adolfo Estalella and Tomás Sánchez-Criado, “Introduction: Experimental Collaborations” in Experimental Collaborations: Ethnography Through Fieldwork Devices (Berghahn, 2018): 1-30, and check out some of these experimental ethnography collectives.
  • As we prepare to engage in our own collaborative work, let’s think about collaboration both as an (auto-)ethnographic concern (i.e., something we can self-reflexively study ourselves doing) and as something that we can design. To those ends, please explore the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research’s methodological projects, as well as their guide on “How We Run Equitable Lab Meetings.” See also Aimi Hamraie’s Twitter thread (April 29, 2021) on the challenges of collaborative class projects (April 29, 2021). What lessons can we learn from CLEAR and Dr. Hamraie’s students’ experience?
    • Optional: skim through Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser, Creative Collaborations (Helsinki Design Lab, 2012) and
  • Have you submitted your first entry to our Concept Library on Notion? Contributions are due by the end of the day on September 30! 

Giovanni Pintori, Olivetti, 1966, via Letterform Archive

Supplemental Resources:

  • adrienne maree brown, Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation (AK Press, 2021). 
  • Jenna Burrell, “‘Through a Screen Darkly’: On Remote, Collaborative Fieldwork in the Digital Age” in Roger Sanjek and Susan W. Tratner, eds., eFieldnotes: The Making of Anthropology in the Digital World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016): 132-52
  • Elizabeth Campbell and Luke Eric Lassiter, “From Collaborative Ethnography to Collaborative Pedagogy: Reflections on the Other Side of Middletown Project and Community-University Research Partnerships,” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 41:4 (2010): 370-85.
  • Teena Clerke and Nick Hopwood, Doing Ethnography in Teams: A Case Study of Asymmetries in Collaborative Research (Springer, 2014): esp. 19-32.*
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977).
  • Angela Creese, Arvind Bhatt, Nirmala Bhojania, and Peter Marin, “Fieldnotes in Team Ethnography: Researching Complementary Schools,” Qualitative Research 8:2 (2008): 197-215. 
  • Rosaleen Duffy, “What Does Collaborative Event Ethnography Tell Us About Global Environmental Governance?” Global Environmental Politics 14:3 (2014): 125-31. 
  • Ken C. Erickson and Donald D. Stull, Doing Team Ethnography (Sage, 1998). 
  • Adolfo Estalella and Tomás Sánchez-Criado, Experimental Collaborations: Ethnography Through Fieldwork Devices (Berghahn, 2018).* 
  • Gökçe Günel, Saiba Varma, and Chika Watanbe, “A Manifesto for Patchwork Ethnography,” Cultural Anthropology: Fieldsights (June 9, 2020) + Patchwork Ethnography.*  
  • Heather A. Horst, “Being in Fieldwork: Collaboration, Digital Media, and Ethnographic Practice” in Roger Sanjek and Susan W. Tratner, eds., eFieldnotes: The Making of Anthropology in the Digital World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016): 153-68.* 
  • Paula Jarzabkowki, Rebecca Bednarek, and Laure Cabantous, “Conducting Global Team-Based Ethnography: Methodological Challenges + Practical Methods,” Human Relations 68:1 (2015): 3-33.* 
  • Luke Eric Lassiter, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography (University of Chicago Press, 2005) – especially “Defining a Collaborative Ethnography.”*
  • Alison Liebling, Bethany E. Schmidt, Kristel Beyens, MIranda Boone, Berit Johnsen, Mieke Kox, Tore Rokkan, and An-Sofie Van houche, “Doing Team Ethnography in a Transnational Prison,” International Criminology 1 (2021): 123-34. 
  • Ruben A. Buford May and Mary Patillo-McCoy, “Do You See What I See? Examining a Collaborative Ethnography,” Qualitative Inquiry 6:1 (2000): 65-87. 
  • Margaret Mead and Paul Byers, The Small Conference: An Innovation in Communication (Mouton, 1968). 
  • Alison Mountz, Ines M. Miyares, Richard Wright, and Adrian J. Bailey, “Methodologically Becoming: Power, Knowledge, and Team Research,” Gender, Place & Culture 10 (2003): 29-46. 
  • Colin Rhinesmith, Molly Dettman, Michael Pierson, and Rebecca Spence, “YouthStudio: Designing Public Library YA Spaces with Teens,” The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults 6 (2015). 
  • Philip Schleisinger, Melanie Selfe, and Ealasaid Munro, “Inside a Cultural Agency: Team Ethnography and Knowledge Exchange” The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 45:2 (2015): 66-83.* 
  • Jeffrey C. Snodgrass, “Online Virtual Worlds as Anthropological Field Sites: Ethnographic Methods Training Via Collaborative Research of Internet Gaming Cultures,” Annals of Anthropological Practice 40:2 (2016): 134-47. 
  • Gavin Weston, Natalie Djohari, and the GEARS Collective, “Student/Staff ‘Collaborative Event Ethnography’ at the Antiques Roadshow,” Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change 4:1 (2018). 
  • Andrea Wojcik, Rachel V. Allison, and Anna Harris, “Bumbling Along Together: Producing Collaborative Fieldnotes” in Casey Burkholder and Jennifer Thompson, eds., Fieldnotes in Qualitative Education and Social Science Research: Approaches, Practices, and Ethical Considerations (Routledge, 2020).*  

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