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OSEA Winter Course Syllabi

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Contemporary Maya Peoples, Cultures and Histories
Culture Concepts and Theories
Seminar in Ethnography
Fieldwork Forum and Ethnographic Research
Spoken Spanish and Maya for Ethnographic Fieldwork

OSEA Winter Quarter Seminar in Ethnography

This course provides students the foundations of ethnography as the core research methodology and fieldwork practice of cultural anthropology.

Schedule of Topics
1. Introduction: Ethics, Morals & Fieldwork
2. Participant Observation I: Doing Fieldwork & Being in the Field
3. Documentation: The Documentary Method, Recording Technologies, Field Notes
4. Objectivism & Subjectivism: Description, Reflexivity, Positioning
5. Participant Observation II: Performativity, Interaction, Dialogue
6. Research Design I: The Research Problem, Objects of Study, Approaches
7. Research Design II: Strategies and Tactics, Methods and Questions
8. Research Design III: Staging, Installation, and Analytical Sites of Fieldwork
9. Talking and Listening: Interviewing, Focus Groups, Conversation
10. Looking: Vision, the Visual, and the Methods of Seeing
11. Coding, Data Analysis, Transcription, Archival Systems, Storage
12. Ethics of Fieldwork Engagement I: Subjectivity, Self, Conduct
13. Morals of Representation: Duty, Obligations, Responsibility
14. Ethics of Fieldwork Engagement II: Transcultural Ethics, the Other

Bernard Russell, editor, Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology.
Bernard Russell, Research Methods in Anthropology. 2nd Edition.
Harry Wolcott, The Art of Fieldwork. Altamira Press.

Additional Readings
Peter Pels, “Profession of Duplexity” in Current Anthropology, 1999 vol. 40 (3): 101-136
Carolyn Fleuhr-Lobban, ch 1, pp. 1-28, in Ethics in the Profession of Anthropology
Aull Davies, ch 1 pp. 3-25, in Reflexive Ethnography
Renato Rosaldo, chap. 8 “Subjectivity in Social Analysis” in Culture and Truth
Dennis Tedlock, ch from Spoken Word and Work of Interpretation
Alain Coulon, pp. 15-44, in Ethnomethodology
Kamela Viswaswaran, selection from Feminist Ethnography
Castañeda, “The Research Problem: Questions, Objects of Study & Research Design” ms.
Castañeda, “Invisible Theatre: Manifesto for an Ontology of Fieldwork” ms.
Castañeda, “Ethics for the Other: Transculturation & Research Positioning” ms.
Agosto Boal, introduction to his book, Games for Actors and Non-Actors
Harold Garfinkel, Studies in Ethnomethdology, pp. 35-60, 76-80, 94-103
Clifford, “Power & Dialogue in Ethnography: Griaule”, Predicaments of Culture, pp. 55-91
George Marcus, “Multi-Sited Ethnography” inEthnography Through Thick and Thin
Gupta and Ferguson, intro from their book on Places of Fieldwork
John Van Maanen, “Moral Fix: Ethics of Fieldwork” in Contemporary Field Research
Deborah Battaglia, “Ethics: Toward an Open Subject” in H. Moore, Anthro Theory Today
Graham Burchell, ch. 1, “Lib. Govt. & Tech. of Self” in Foucault & Political Reason pp. 19-36.
Michel Foucault, pp. 81-92, in Foucault Reader on Ethics
Ruth Behar, selections fromTranslated Woman
Johannes Fabian, selections from Time and the Other Seminar

Students are expected to have read the readings for the seminar in advance of class time and to be prepared to discuss the reading materials. The course evaluation is based on seminar participation and the completion of small writing assignments and activities that are given during seminars in relationship to specific topics. Additionally, the evaluation is based on the completion of two major products. The first is a statement of the research problem and the second is a research design. The precise nature of these are explained in class. The aim of the course is to provide students with the tools to conduct the research that they have proposed in the definition of their research problem and their research design.

Seminars meet between two and three and half hours, depending upon the precise schedule of the specific program (Winter Quarter, Summer, January Program, etc.). Please check the provided schedule. Course work is 35 hours of classroom time equivalent to 3 credit hours.

Students are encouraged to purchase three main text books for this class. The other reading materials are compiled in a course packet for purchase on-site in Yucatán. Some materials are available in electronic form and provided without cost.