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:
- What are the ethical and political issues involved with representing people’s lives through the genre of ethnography?
- What aesthetic, literary and narrative conventions have developed within ethnographic writing, and what are the ethical consequences of these approaches?
- How do different ethnographic styles shore up or challenge the authority of the author?
- What experimental possibilities exist for ethnography in this moment?
- What possibilities exist for collaboration, sharing and engagement within ethnographic writing projects?
- 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