ANSO136 | Spring | 6 ECTS

Weaving the World: Exercises in Writing Evocative Ethnography

The aim of this course is to introduce scholars to the fundamental features and essential practices of ethnography and ethnographic blogging in the contemporary world. In the course students will learn what distinguishes ethnography from other forms of academic and nonfiction representation. The technique of Weaving the World, the seamless linkage of ethnographic description to social analysis will be presented. Students will be asked to read examples from the work of ethnographers who have, in various ways, attempted to use this technique to evoke social worlds through the exposition of space/place, character, and dialogue. These are strategies that ethnographic writers can use to ensure that readers come to know a people who live in a particular place. In short the course is a guide to doing public anthropology in our troubled times. During the workshop students will asked to write culture evocatively. The instructor will outline ethnographic (and blogging) writing practices the tricks of the trade. He will then ask the students to begin to Weave the World by writing (1) short descriptions of space/place, dialogues, and character portraits (2) combine those elements into a detailed ethnographic essay that captures in prose the texture of place/space, characters and/or those elements as they are expressed during an event and (3) convert anthropological insight into blogs.