[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]
[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/ unimelb.edu).au_), Melissa Nolas
((_S.Nolas /at/ gold.ac).uk_) and Christos Varvantakis
((_C.Varvantakis /at/ gold.ac).uk_).
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
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
‘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
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
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.
This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit http://commlist.org/
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at http://commlist.org/
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/ vub.ac.be)
[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]