Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Call (Chapters) - Experiments in Worldly Ethnography

Tue Jan 29 13:00:04 GMT 2019

We're extending slightly the due date for our call for chapter proposals for /*Experiments in Worldly *//*Ethnography*//./

The volume aims to be an interdisciplinary and creative exploration of ethnographic encounters in a multi-sited, un-sited and site-less world. We'd particularly like to encourage scholars and practitioners who are experimenting with research in its written form.

If you'd be interested in contributing to the volume, please get us abstracts by the new date of 25 Feb 2019.
Any enquires and submissions can be emailed toto Joshua McNamara ((_joshua.mcnamara /at/, Melissa Nolas ((_S.Nolas /at/ and Christos Varvantakis ((_C.Varvantakis /at/

Many thanks!


    Call for Chapters - /Experiments in Worldly //Ethnography///

    Does ethnography — whose credibility has always been its disruptive
    turn toward local knowledge and the minutiae everyday life — still
    have a place in the writing of global, planetary experience? The
    principled ethnographic response to globally extended social issues
    has been to locate the ‘global’ within local practice. But to stop
    here is to limit ethnography to a question of mere closeness.
    Critical work in social anthropology and sociology over the past few
    decades has opened new tracks of research into contemporary cultural
    and social practice, theoretically and methodologically grappling
    with the multi-sited, diachronistic, and relational character of our
    subject matter. From material-semiotic approaches to understanding
    actor-networks, to new phenomenological thinking on multi-modal
    planetary experience, contemporary research in the humanities and
    social sciences faces the significant methodological challenge of
    describing what we mean by a ‘practice’ today, and how it inflects
    our research.
    What kind of critical contribution can ethnographic writing make in
    research contexts where ‘location’ and ‘object’ are being constantly
    re-signified, and where the material centres of human social and
    cultural life are constantly liquified and re-crystallised? In
    worldly life, the local has not been dissolved entirely, but taken
    on radical new decentralised forms. From digital-natives to
    symbiotic entanglements of human and non-human organisms, new
    schemas of ‘local knowledge’ are emerging that invite a rethinking
    of what it means to capture, with fidelity and authenticity, the
    granular details everyday life.
    Can a critical practice of writing ethnography — as well as
    overlapping techniques for capturing, videoing and inscribing its
    encounters — not extend to objects with an irreducible multiplicity
    of worldly sites, or entangle itself with phenomena of vast
    planetary extension?
    ‘Experiments in Worldly Ethnography’ is an invitation to explore how
    new approaches toward generating and presenting ethnographic
    knowledge can be used to offer fresh perspectives on these
    questions. Editors Joshua McNamara, Melissa Nolas and Christos
    Varvantakis invite scholars and creative-critical practitioners to
    contribute to a growing transdisciplinary exploration of
    ethnographic thought in a globalised world.
    We venture the notion of a ‘Worldly Ethnography’ to embrace work
    that challenges and experiments with the multi-sited and the
    siteless nature of contemporary planetary life. This Call is
    structured into three general streams:
    i ) Beyond Comparison: Expanding on conversations in multi-sited
    ethnography, from work struggling to constitute the city as a site
    of research, to inter-urban comparative research looking at
    entangled multiplicities of publics, consumers and end-users, this
    stream seeks to explore multi-sited methods and their role in new
    thinking on a distributed, de-centralised life. In what ways can our
    research and writing bring together scattered sites not simply into
    regional and geo-cultural comparison, but in synthesis of new kinds
    of distributed, diachronic fields of study?
    ii ) Gigantic Objects Outside the Human Scale: As the scale against
    which we make sense of human life and its struggles expands, we have
    started to come face-to-face with a new range of gigantic objects —
    climate, data, radiation, ecosystem. Experimental work, such as the
    ecological work by Donna Harraway and Anna Tsing on the intimacies
    of human and non-human entanglements in the Anthropocene, has
    started to pose vital questions about the closeness and
    locatedness of the ethnographic encounter when confronted with the
    vastness of planetary objects. What is the meeting point between
    scientific data, ethnographic writing and our new strategies for
    thinking outside the human scale?
    iii) Si(gh)tlessness: We would like to venture that there is a
    productive paradox at the heart of the notion of a Worldly
    Ethnography. While ethnography relies on its testimony to a visible
    life, the worldly itself often sits beyond direct vision. In a focus
    on si(gh)tlessness — whose double meaning signifies both the lack of
    vision, and a lack of a coherent research site — this stream seeks
    to explore how experiments in ethnography might develop new ways of
    ‘seeing’ the un-seeable. This stream would be especially excited to
    hear from scholars experimenting with new forms of
    audio-visual media in relation to their ethnographic work.
    We invite proposals for chapters that fit within one or more of the
    above streams, and which reflect on the methodological and
    philosophical issues, and creative-critical practices, that
    might arise in worldly ethnographic encounters. We would be
    especially interested in hearing from scholars grappling with
    multi-sitedness in work on global political experience, and those
    experimenting with new ways of capturing the deep planetary scale on
    which many of our most profound human transformations are taking
    place today.
    Given the experimental inflection of this work, we are open to
    contributions in a multitude of forms, from traditional research
    papers to more creative-critical reflections, and
    work that integrates practice-led multimedia into its method and/or
    Important dates:
    Abstracts (500 words) due _25__February 2019_.
    Response to abstracts returned by early March.
    First draft articles would be due 1 September 2019.
    Final revised drafts will be due in January 2020.

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