UCI Experimental Ethnography Working Group

This working group, led by UCI Anthropology graduate students, is born out of an express desire by graduate students representing all segments of the PhD journey (from first to 6th years) to tinker, design, develop, and discuss the modalities and implications of “experimentality” within the ethnographic project. This series builds upon existing coursework and training related to ethnography (e.g. ANTH 211A and 212A Research Design; ANTH 230D Ethnographies; ANTH230F Ethnography) and furthers the Center for Ethnography’s goal to foster methodological innovation in ethnography across the campus and situate UCI at the center of such innovations internationally.

In addition to in-person workshops, a major component of this group is the instance of the Platform for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography (PECE), an open source digital platform that supports multi-sited, cross-scale ethnographic and historical research. This instance of PECE enables UCI students situated both in Irvine and beyond to have ongoing, asynchronous discussions around experimental methods. Discussions include questions on how to run a specific type of ethnographic experiment or how to analyze particular types of experimental outputs. The online space is also a potential home for collaborative analysis and writing projects. We hope this space will enable a community of scholars to continue to engage on these topics from different standpoints in an attempt to overcome some of the detachment that is inevitable in a disciplinary program where extended periods of geographic disconnect is the norm and there are no well-established infrastructures for extended scholarly collaborations.