The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ethnography Collective


The Ethnography Collective @ UMass supports ethnography in all of its many manifestations. We create a community grounded in the arts and sciences of deep, immersive research that takes seriously the critical importance of embodied, lived, and relational knowledge production. The Ethnography Collective aims to sustain ethnographers in their work as well as increase advocacy, education, and visibility for ethnographic research.

 We organize events and promote spaces where we can learn from each other, discuss directions for research, and grapple with old and new challenges. We embrace creative and meaningful dialogue across disciplines. We engage in mutual mentoring and value the involvement of our graduate student colleagues. We serve as a resource for all things ethnography and collaborate with other like-minded individuals and institutions within and beyond the walls of our University.

 The origins of our Collective trace to the 2020 COVID-19 health crisis. We felt lost and at a loss during the pandemic as rapid social changes and social distancing norms disrupted our communities, prevented access to field sites, and left us hungry for connection, support, and a renewed articulation of the intellectual and political value of immersive research. Our Collective is grassroots and faculty-driven, drawing active participants from across four Colleges and Schools: Education; Humanities and Fine Arts; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Public Health and Health Sciences. We are based in eight departments, including Anthropology, Communication, Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Community Health Education.

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Recent Events

The Ethnography Collective hosted a roundtable on April 12, 2022 entitled Fieldnotes: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine. The roundtable centered the voices and experiences of ethnographers of Ukraine. The panelists provided insights on the current war, and reflected on what kinds of ethnographic interventions are possible in this context.