Panel: “Ethnography in Digital Environments: Theory, Practice, and Teaching”
March 24, 2011 12:00 pm - 01:00 pm
Wells Library, E170-D - Bloomington
Brown Bag Series


Panel: “Ethnography in Digital Environments: Theory, Practice, and Teaching”

Ilana Gershon Communication and Culture “Every Click You Make, I'll Be Watching You”
Gracia Clark Anthropology “Ethnographic Websites as Participation and Reciprocity”
David Hakken Informatics

This week’s IDAH brown bag will feature a panel discussion with anthropologists working in a variety of departments at IU: Informatics, Anthropology, and Communication and Culture.  As anthropologists and social scientists grapple with understanding how social life is increasingly conducted through digital and virtual environments, ethnographic method has needed to adapt to contemplate new kinds of social and phenomenological experiences associated with digital communication.  In addition, digital technology offers the anthropologist new tools for re-creating virtual ethnographic experiences in educational settings.  Our panelists will present their own individual research projects in these areas and open up discussion on the emerging theories and methodologies of this mode of ethnography.

David Hakken
School of Informatics
“Diverse Perspectives on the Ethnography of Information”
For Thirty years now, my ethnography has focused on the relationship between social change and the use of Digital Technologies.  After briefly describing the trajectory of my research career, I will discuss several current research projects and what they suggest about the dynamics of contemporary social formation reproduction.



Gracia Clark
Department of Anthropology
“Ethnographic Websites as Participation and Reciprocity”
Dozens of devout Muslim laymen and women from Kumasi, Ghana volunteered to record video interviews for a website on West African Islam, aimed at high school and small college students and teachers in the United States. Many addressed the imagined US public directly through the camera, explaining the most important values in Islam and the phenomenon of suicidal violence as they understood them.  I will address how questions of reciprocity, confidentiality and representation emerge in this context, as well as new obligations and responsibilities for ethnography.


Ilana Gershon
Department of Communication and Culture
“Following the Breakup”
I am going to talk about some of the methodological quandaries that emerged when studying how people use new media to end romantic relationships.  I will talk about how interviewing people about breakups was a productive lens for asking questions about people's media ideologies and experiences of remediation.  I will also talk about the limitations of studying what is often a private ritual.


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While we are waiting for the IDAH Brown Bag series to resume, please explore the Digital Library's Spring 2013 Brown Bag schedule for presentations on topics ranging from various forms of data and media management to digital collections, visual archives, and working in the Scholars' Commons. You may also be interested in the Catapult Centre's workshop series.

Audio/video recordings are also available for some past IDAH Digital Library and Catapult Centre presentations.


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