Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
June 1-2, 2012
Extended abstract submission deadline: November 15, 2011
Registration deadline: April 15, 2012
Keynote presenters: Paul Stoller (Anthropology, West Chester
University), Norman K. Denzin (Communication, University of Illinois)
Organizer: Phillip Vannini, (Communication & Culture, Royal Roads University)
Advisory committee: Claudio Aporta (Sociology & Anthropology, Carleton
University, Canada); Mike Evans (Arts and Social Sciences, Southern
Cross University, Australia); Kip Jones (Media, Bournemouth
University, UK); Monica Prendergast (Drama/Education Theatre,
University of Victoria, Canada); David Redmon (Sociology, Harvard
University, USA); Alisse Waterston (Anthropology, City University of
New York, USA).
How can ethnographers make their voices better heard? How can
ethnographic research become more popular? How can different
ethnographic genres and new and traditional communication media
facilitate the popularization of ethnographic research? As several
commentators have outlined, ethnography is uniquely positioned to
appeal to the general public yet it is still distinctly absent in
popular media such as television, radio, and digital platforms such as
iTunes. When carried out with the information and entertainment needs
and wants of the public in mind, ethnographic research has the
potential to reach beyond the confines of academic discourse and can
position social scientific knowledge at the nexus of public debate,
current affairs, and popular culture. A fully public ethnography can
better engage multiple stakeholders and can play a key role in the
critical pedagogy of the general public. But how can this be achieved
in practice? And at what costs and risk?
Ethnography—understood broadly as the qualitative, in-depth, emic
study of people's ways of life—is undergoing a significant shift
towards reflexive, embodied, sensuous, performative, narrative,
arts-informed, more-than-representational, and multimodal
characteristics. These trends are pushing ethnography away from an
exclusively academic and print-based domain into the public sphere.
Ethnographers now increasingly realize they can thrive in a public
domain craving documentary knowledge inspired and informed by diverse
popular media, genres, arts, and communication modes.
The conference is intended to be an intimate gathering of
ethnographers—both faculty and students—across all social scientific
fields and disciplines. The organizers welcome presentation proposals
(both individual submissions and panels) that show examples of public
ethnography, or that reflect on the value and agenda of public
ethnography. Examples of public ethnographic research in progress or
completed will draw from fieldwork projects that have reached beyond
academic audiences by directly addressing members of the general
public, or by drawing significant attention from news media.
Reflections on public ethnography will instead focus on taking stock
of the methodological, epistemological, ethical, or practical
challenges and opportunities faced by public ethnographers.
A peer-reviewed journal special issue on the theme of the conference
will be developed. Presenters will also be able to submit their work
for consideration for publication in the Routledge Innovative
Ethnographies book series (www.innovativeethnographies.net).
To submit a presentation proposal please email a 150 word abstract,
title, five keywords, and short bio(s) of the presenter(s) attending
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to clearly identify the type of
presentation proposed (example or reflection) in a separate note,
which should also contain any information about special audio/visual
and other technical equipment needs you may have.
Registration fee: CAD$250 (faculty) CAD$150 (students). Includes two
lunches, two breakfasts.
Conference site: The Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria BC (www.laurelpoint.com).
Conference delegates' rates starting from CAD$119 + taxes.
Professor and Canada Research Chair
(Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography)
School of Communication and Culture
Royal Roads University