ANTHRO 1898 - Digital Ethnographic Methods

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022

Prof. Joyhanna Garza
Tues. 12:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Tozzer 416

The abrupt physical closures of 2020 continuing into the present moment have brought into sharp relief the urgency of taking the digital seriously as a mode by which sociality – however constrained – is created and maintained. Rather than posit a singular method of digital ethnography, this course is designed to expose students to different methods and theoretical entry points into ethnography in order to enable students to identify the methods which work best for their present and future research purposes. Hence, the course features the work of diverse practitioners of digital ethnography – with an emphasis on deeply contextualized online practices. Such works discuss an array of digital platforms and theoretical engagements including concepts which digress from the traditional interests of anthropological inquiry. Crucially, this course approaches digital spaces as far-from-neutral and instead as deeply ideologically laden sites that require an attention to various systems, including those which structure everyday life beyond the virtual. Thus, the course emphasizes the blurriness between offline and online practices, communities, and worlds, while highlighting critical methodological interventions in ethnography more broadly. Students will gain hands-on training in the digital research process by way of weekly exercises throughout the semester. This is also a reading-intensive course where students are encouraged to “read for method.” I ask that you review the syllabus carefully and decide for yourself if you can commit to the workload this semester.