Ethnographic Writing Workshop: At Home in a Pandemic

Schools of Public Engagement: University Urban Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Ethnographic Writing Workshop

Winter 2022

Taught By: Rachel Heiman

Section: A

CRN: 8999

Credits: 3

This intensive writing workshop will provide students an introduction to ethnographic writing, a key mode of description, analysis, and expression in anthropology and related disciplines. The theme for this semester is home, a space that took on new dimensions during the most intense times of the pandemic. Our dwellings became everything: sites of work, school, and citizenship; gym, bar, and DJ dance floor; pew at weddings and funerals; audience seating at public events and political rallies—our portal to the rest of humanity. Why not use our winter break at home as an opportunity to hone our ethnographic writing skills and transform our homes into rich sites of anthropological exploration? Ethnography—spending dedicated time in everyday life to deeply understand social conditions—does not require us to go out into the world; we can subject our most familiar spaces to the same kind of observation and analytical inquiry. In this course, we build on the intense thinking about our homes that we are already doing. Each session will include in-class short writing exercises, break-out-group peer workshops, and close analysis of exemplary ethnographic writing by anthropologists, essayists, and creative writers. Exercises and assignments require us to reflect on the spaces we’re inhabiting, with particular attention to materiality, intimacy, movement, boundaries, infrastructures, equity, habits, senses, sociality, and grief. During the dark days of our (hopefully last) pandemic winter, we will create together an intimate, peer community of exploratory writing and ethnographic inquiry.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: University Urban Studies (UURB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Studio (S)

Modality: Online - Synchronous

Max Enrollment: 14

Add/Drop Deadline: December 23, 2021 (Thursday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: January 14, 2022 (Friday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 8:40pm 9/28/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Times: 1:00pm - 4:30pm

Building: Online Course

Room: 999

Date Range: 1/3/2022 - 1/21/2022