Hands-On Anthropology and Ethnographic Storytelling

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Logo VU Amsterdam Summer School
Provider rating: starstarstarstarstar_half 9.3 VU Amsterdam Summer School has an average rating of 9.3 (out of 3 reviews)

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VU Amsterdam Summer School offers their products as a default in the following regions: Amsterdam

Description

Ethnography or what Clifford Geertz called ‘deep-hanging out’ (1998) is becoming an increasingly popular research method among the main social science disciplines like anthropology and sociology. Ethnography provides a unique perspective which helps to explain the complexities of our everyday lives. This course will present such complexities in an exciting, and accessible manner, so as to keep the content engaging. The bulk of the course is based on the combination of storytelling with ethnographic methodologies and theory. The multidisciplinary approach will help students to think outside the box regarding how to convert collected data, observations, and field notes into enticing stories th…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Anthropology, Project Management, PRINCE2, M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions), and English (FCE / CAE / CPE).

Ethnography or what Clifford Geertz called ‘deep-hanging out’ (1998) is becoming an increasingly popular research method among the main social science disciplines like anthropology and sociology. Ethnography provides a unique perspective which helps to explain the complexities of our everyday lives. This course will present such complexities in an exciting, and accessible manner, so as to keep the content engaging. The bulk of the course is based on the combination of storytelling with ethnographic methodologies and theory. The multidisciplinary approach will help students to think outside the box regarding how to convert collected data, observations, and field notes into enticing stories that are both scientifically convincing and socially relevant.

This course stresses learning through the lens of through the practice of storytelling, with regards to anthropology. Practical anthropology brings together reflexivity and academic research to show how students can turn their field-notes and observations into coherent narratives which are scientifically valid.

Students of the course will work closely with artists, social workers and practitioners, discussing both methodologies and writing styles. Then, students will do a short piece of coursework, under the supervision of the course coordinator, before starting to write their ethnographic stories. The students will be guided during writing workshops and nature walks all the while learning how to incorporate sensory elements and develop their storytelling skills.

The students will learn how to weave narratives with an anthropological perspective by way of ethnographic storytelling, but without reducing the world into a construct of their imaginations. This aspect of the course highlights the political importance narrative and storytelling by encouraging students to remain culturally sensitive regarding the stories they gather from their interviewees and correspondence.

Practical anthropology guides you through the process of gathering stories as the basis for a scientific inquiry, using simple but effective fieldwork tools (such as mobile phones, Voice Recorder, Social Media). It will also set you up to present findings through creative writing, photo essays, and oral storytelling.

Amsterdam is one of the better places to practice the methodologies taught in this course. As one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, and home to people of 180 nationalities, there are plenty of fascinating personal stories to tackle here. Students will have the opportunity to hear stories from guest speakers and also ask questions to better understand how their stories should be conveyed in a culturally and ethically sensitive manner. Working with experienced ethnographers and creative writers, students will learn to construct narratives in collaboration with interlocutors. In other words, this is the process of transforming lived experiences into creative stories with an academic appeal.

It goes without saying, this is a highly practical course requiring your active participation throughout. It is organised by the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology which invites different nonacademic partners every year to VU Amsterdam to be involved in this course.

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