TEACHING AND LEARNING ANTHROPOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY
IN EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE:
MAKING SENSE OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCE
IN FAMILIAR AND UNFAMILIAR CONTEXTS
When we teach anthropology and ethnography in the countries of Eastern and SE Europe, we try to make our students familiar with the study of otherness and introduce them to alternative ways of understanding social phenomena. Yet, we deal with perceptions of cultural difference shaped by notions of cultural homogeneity.
At the same time, current political, social, cultural and economic phenomena affect and transform the lives of the people living in this part of the world. The necessity of dealing with these issues has intensified the demands for academic knowledge production, increasingly through joint and multi-disciplinary research.
If sociocultural anthropology, as well as ethnology and folklore, are to be seen as considerably useful tools for understanding the contemporary context, they not only have to adjust their research strategies and analytical concepts to the current sociopolitical conditions but also to reconsider the boundaries between science, society and the academia. This implies, among other issues, re-thinking and refining the practices of teaching and learning.
The conference invites papers and other interactive, innovative and experimental multi-media presentations which address aspects of teaching and learning anthropology and/or ethnography in SE Europe, in both discipline-related and interdisciplinary, academic and non-academic contexts. The contributions are expected to reflect on teaching experiences, and discuss key questions related to the following issues:
- What practices, pedagogies, and techniques can be developed to assist the learning and teaching process and meet the demands of the contemporary social research?
- How do we train our students to understand and use various concepts (i.e. theory, culture, representation, ethnocentrism, context, and contextualisation, research questions and objectives, ethnographic data and data analysis, reflexivity, assumptions and stereotypes etc.) within familiar and unfamiliar research contexts?
- How do we face the challenge of the ethnographic method within complex urban, glocal and websited environments?
- How do we accommodate the traditional notion of fieldwork as the long stay and first-hand acquisition of knowledge in a specific location with the increasingly dominant format of short-stay, learning-by-doing, intense research projects (summer/field schools, laboratories, workshops, short trips, interdisciplinary courses etc)?
- How can new technologies, social media, distant learning and e-learning support or advance the teaching and learning of the ethnographic process?
- How camera, imagination and other mediated representations (film, documentary, theater, comics, literature etc), i.e. tools and technologies used in cultural and literary studies (artistic installation, biography, performance etc) could multiply the mirrors and initiate a dialogue with the ethnographic text today?
- How can the context of multidisciplinary and joint research help us improve our teaching and learning methods? What is the impact of ethnography, as a basic method of carrying out grounded research beyond Anthropology (i.e. Oral, social, cultural and regional history, International Relations, Political Sciences, Sociology, Philosophy, Geography etc)?
- How do we teach anthropology and ethnography to non-academic audiences such as policy makers, corporation executives and managers, social workers, journalists, commercial advertisers?
- How do we disseminate anthropological knowledge? How do we teach about ways of representation such as ethnographic writing? Should anthropologists be trained as bloggers, Twitter users, journalists, YouTubers, social media experts?
For further information, please, contact
- Ioannis Manos, Assistant Prof. : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fotini Tsibiridou, Professor: email@example.com
- Georgia Rina, PhD candidate: firstname.lastname@example.org
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