African Cultural Studies

College of Letters & Science
HomeAfrican 925: Field Methods (Literary Ethnography)

African 925: Field Methods (Literary Ethnography)

This graduate-level methods seminar is an intensive introduction to reading and writing “new ethnographies”—what H. L. Goodall calls an “emerging, alternative style of qualitative writing” that “combines the personal and the professional, … work that may be rendered as a story …, or an account that derives rhetorical force from blurring or blending of literary genres.” Taking a discourse-centered approach to culture and to writing as a form of qualitative analysis, we will explore theories and examples of autoethnographies, autobiographies, ethnographic fiction, poetry, and drama, and literary ethnographies. Our main examples will be writing by Africans and Africanists, but students working in other world areas are welcome. Important themes will include language, voice, dialogic research, transcription, and translation. The course will help students whose primary interests are in literature, languages, and second language acquisition to gain expertise in ethnographic research practices and evocative writing. Seminar meetings will involve both discussion of readings and workshopping participants’ writing.

Taught by Dr. Katrina Daly Thompson
Tuesdays 2:25-5:25p