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Workshop on Perspectives- Ethnographic Research Methods for Activists at Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur [Oct 19-22]: Register Now

Applications are invited for Workshop on Perspectives- Ethnographic Research Methods for Activists at Sambhaavnaa Institute from 19 to 22 October 2022.

Are you a professional in an area that tries to make changes (for the better) in other people’s lives? Does your work get broadly described as a change agent or development practitioner or activist? Your work of making change and having an improvement in the current state of someone else’s life may require understanding these people’s perspectives on who they are, what role you may play in their lives, what they think their own location in the community and the larger world.

If these questions are relevant to the work you do, you would definitely benefit from a conversation with practitioners of sociocultural anthropology. 

Objective

This workshop conducted over four days (see plan below) aims at:

  • Day 1 – Bring ethnographic research techniques to people outside the anthropological universe, especially those who work at the intersection of law, policy, and society. This requires engagement with some reading material on the first two days.
  • Day 2 – Constructing research questions and visiting one’s ongoing, or currently planned research through the ethnographic lens. Bringing to the forefront, the elements of mutual dialogue, ethics, situational sensitivity and understanding in furthering the work of activists and practitioners.
  • Day 3 – Bringing to the forefront, the elements of mutual dialogue, ethics, situational sensitivity and understanding in furthering the work of activists. Participants will write a short ethnography based on their future or ongoing research.
  • Day 4 – Writing workshop.

Structure

The workshop explains what ethnographic research is and what kinds of things it can be useful for. I will use the first two sessions to introduce ethnography as a research technique of anthropology. I will unpack what I like to call ‘a point of view about points of view’.

This discussion will depend on unpacking some previously distributed reading material, that participants will have to come having read beforehand. The final session focuses on a small writing assignment where each participant will share their work with rest of the group.

Day 1

Reading: Paul Rabinow. Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco (2007)Ch. 8.

Brief lecture on ethnography and anthropology

  • Why do research? – discussion
  • Are activist agendas and academic research complementary? – discussion
  • Representative turn
  • Anthropology and Fiction
  • Anthropology and Journalism

Evening film screening: Akaler Shondhane by Mrinal Sen

Day 2

Reading: Agee, James. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). Introduction

  • What is a research question? – discussion
  • Is it possible to know another’s world through ethnography?
  • Limits of the method.
  • Ethics/Politics of Representation

Afternoon:

  • Participants talk about a project of their own (hypothetical or otherwise).

Evening film screening: A Passage to India by David Lean

Day 3

  • Participants present their research questions
  • Everyone comments on each question
  • Redrafting of questions
  • Note-taking practices
  • Individual identification of site, subjects, objects
  • Discussion of feasibility

Afternoon

  • Participants take off for writing an ethnographic anecdote from their life or research project.

Day 4

  • Participants submit writeups (1500 words or less) by 6 am in the morning.
  • Writing workshop for the rest of the day.

Date & Venue

  • Dates: 19th to 22nd October 2022,
  • Venue: Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh.

Registration

  • Click here to register now.
  • Participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 5000/- towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all on-site workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop. 

Contact

WhatsApp or call: 889 422 7954 (between 10 am to 5 pm)
Email: programs[at]sambhaavnaa.org

Click here to view the official details of Perspectives- Ethnographic Research Methods for Activists.

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