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The Afterlife of Fieldnotes

The Afterlife of Fieldnotes
19 Russell Street, Room AP330
Time: Oct 27th, 5:00 pm End: Oct 27th, 6:30 pm
Interest Categories: Ethnography, Archaeology, Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 2000-

The Department of Anthropology Ethnography Lab Workshop Series presents

The Afterlife of Fieldnotes

Workshop Facilitators: Josephine Smart (PhD, U of Toronto, 1987), Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary, and Alan Smart, (PhD, U of Toronto, 1986), Professor at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary

We (Josephine Smart and Alan Smart) will focus on the afterlife of fieldnotes and their intersections with confidential Hong Kong government documents, rather than their use in the original project for which they were collected. In particular, we will address their current research project which is taking advantage of the Hong Kong policy of making confidential government documents available after 30 years. Our research for our doctoral degrees at U of T began 33 years ago, so we are beginning to work on government documents relevant to our projects on the clearance of squatter areas (Alan Smart) and unauthorized street vending (Josephine Smart). We will address the potential value of bringing ethnographic field research and archival documents on the same topics together. We will also provide examples of our recent analyses of some of the issues raised by some of the government documents we have located.

This event is free an open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact Jessika Tremblay at ethnography.lab@utoronto.ca


The Ethnography Lab is excited to launch its 2016-2017 Workshop Series. This year, the series will focus on experimenting with different techniques for interpreting ethnographic data. Once primary data has been gathered in the field, every ethnographer must grapple with deciding which techniques are best suited to analyzing it before it can be included in a monograph, dissertation, or other published work. Most ethnographers don’t hesitate to spend hours pouring over field-notes, listening to audio recordings, or scrawling the perfect ethnographic vignette to tell a story about their data. But what actually happens between the gathering of that data and its transformation into abstracted, anthropological analysis, is often a mystery.

This workshop series, entitled Ethnographic Objects: Materialities and Meanings, is designed as a collective experimentation with different ways of interpreting the ethnographic object. Each workshop will center around one particular kind of ethnographic object that is commonly encountered in the field: the video interview, the mystical object, the selfie, the music playlist, the Facebook post, and others. Presenters will spend time contextualizing the object within their own field-work experiences, after which participants will be invited to join in the “workshopping” of different techniques to arrive at creative ways of analyzing their meaning. The objective of this series is to encourage critical and active thinking about the processes that are involved in transforming primary data into an anthropological product.

Located in the University of Toronto Department of Anthropology, the Ethnography Lab strives to encourage dynamic discussion and experimentation with the various ways in which ethnography is practiced and imagined.

Join us in the Ethnography Lab Seminar Room, located in the Anthropology Building, room 330, on select Thursdays from 5-6:30pm for stimulating discussion.

This series is FREE and OPEN to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Contact Jessika Tremblay at ethnography.lab@utoronto.ca for more information.


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