The Ethnography Collective at UMass supports ethnography in all of its many manifestations.
Grounded in the arts and sciences of deep, immersive research, the Ethnography Collective is a community that takes seriously the critical importance of embodied, lived, and relational knowledge production. We aim to sustain ethnographers in their work and to increase advocacy, education, and visibility for ethnographic research.
The Ethnography Collective organizes events and promotes spaces in which 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, engage in mutual mentoring, and value the involvement of our graduate student colleagues. Serving as a resource for all things ethnography, we collaborate with like-minded individuals and institutions within and beyond the University.
The origins of our Collective trace to the COVID-19 health crisis in 2020. 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.
Grassroots and faculty driven, the Collective draws active participants from four Colleges and Schools: Education, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Public Health and Health Sciences. We are based in the following departments: Anthropology; Communication; Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies; Political Science; Public Policy; Sociology; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and Community Health Education.
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- Ethnography & Activism—hosted on April 19, 2022, by Fareen Parvez and Millie Thayer—featured panelists Javier Auyero, Heba Gowayed, Maple Razsa, and Frances Roberts-Gregory. Topics ranged from refugee crises and toxic landscapes to state complicity in the production of urban violence. Watch a video of the event here.
- Fieldnotes: Reflections on Russia's Invasion of Ukraine—hosted by the Ethnography Collective on April 12, 2022—was a roundtable that centered the voices and experiences of ethnographers of Ukraine. Panelists provided insights on the current war and reflected on the types of ethnographic interventions that are possible in this context. Watch a video of the event below.