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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
* ANT 377 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The Arts of Ethnography: Theory and Technique in Anthropological Writing

Bridget M. Purcell

How do anthropologists transform field experiences into ethnographic texts? This course explores the narrative, descriptive, and interpretive conventions that inform ethnography, with a strong focus on the practice of student writing. We will examine how research experience is transformed as it is written down, both during and after fieldwork. For ethnographers, what counts as evidence and expertise? How do they use literary techniques (voice, address, technical language), and other artistic/expressive modes? Weekly journal-writing and work-shopping are opportunities to think through your independent work in a creative, collaborative space.

Sample reading list:
Various, Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times
Goffman, Alice, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City
Biehl, Joao, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment
Raffles, Hugh, Insectopedia
Greenhouse, Carol, The Paradox of Relevance
Jain, Lochlann, Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us

Reading/Writing assignments:
Reading assignments: approximately 75-100 pages per week. Writing assignments: roughly 2 double-spaced pages of journal writing per week (30%); a 4 page "write up" of your oral presentation (15%); and a 10 page final paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 25%
Other (See Instructor) - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Some experience with anthropological research and writing is expected. If in doubt about your preparation, please contact instructor..

Other information:
Classes will be strongly participation-based. In the first half of each class meeting, students will initiate discussions of the readings. During the second half, they will present parts of that week's journal entry for discussion.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43567 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th   Aaron Burr Hall   213   Enrolled:3 Limit:12