We are a collective of cultural anthropology honours students at Victoria University of Wellington exploring the genre of ethnography. Across 2019, we will read a wide range of ethnographies and experiment with our own ethnographic writing. Some of the core questions we seek to explore in this course are:

  1. What are the ethical and political issues involved with representing people’s lives through the genre of ethnography?
  2. What aesthetic, literary and narrative conventions have developed within ethnographic writing, and what are the ethical consequences of these approaches?
  3. How do different ethnographic styles shore up or challenge the authority of the author?
  4. What experimental possibilities exist for ethnography in this moment?
  5. What possibilities exist for collaboration, sharing and engagement within ethnographic writing projects?
  6. For each of us, what direction would we like to see ethnography move in?

We aim to write accessibly for a broad public audience. We hope you find our reflections, observations and critiques an interesting addition to conversations about ethnography.

– Sophie, Daniel, Char, Puna, Willow, Nei, Emily, Sadie, Stella, Anya and Catherine