2022-23 Ethnography Winter School

Maynooth University
Monday, January 16, 2023 - 09:00 to Friday, January 20, 2023 - 17:00
Online via Teams

2023 Ethnography Winter School

Ethnography at Work

16 to 20 January 2023
Important: This module will be delivered fully online.
The annual ‘Ethnography Winter School’ hosted by the Department of Anthropology at Maynooth University will take place online from 16 to 20 January 2023.  As always, the school will bring together postgraduate students, professional researchers, and others for focused reflection on ‘ethnography’ today.  We have structured the module as a one-week workshop or ‘laboratory,’ enabling students, established scholars, and others to work through challenges and opportunities related to their own research and writing projects in dialogue and critical engagement with each other.  We hope this format will attract participants of diverse disciplinary orientations and career stages, and we further hope that this cross-fertilization of perspectives will yield fresh insights into what ethnography can teach us about the world in which we live.
This year the Winter School will focus on ethnographic approaches to the everyday human activity of work. Although we speak today of work-life balance as though work and life are separate realms, anthropologists have long experience of societies where such distinctions may be meaningless. At the same time, historically minded anthropologists have charted transformations of work globally since the advent of modernity, and there are many excellent, fine-grained ethnographic studies of changing and globalising/deglobalising labour conditions and processes. The ruptures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have muddied waters further – creating stark choices between the preservation of lives as against livelihoods, complicating the notion of the workplace, and exacerbating divisions between essential workers and those who could work from home. In the welfare states of the Global North, a new terminology of alienated labour has emerged since the start of the pandemic – the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, and so on. This year’s theme of ‘ethnography at work’ will focus on the dual meanings of the phrase, looking both at ethnographic studies of work and at the ways in which ethnographic work is accomplished. The contributions of our invited speakers and Maynooth colleagues will lead and inform the intensive discussions that take place during the January 2023 Winter School.
Our invited speakers include:
Jonathan Parry (Professor Emeritus, LSE, and author, Classes of Labour)
Sharryn Kasmir (Professor, Hofstra University, and co-editor, The Routledge Handbook of the Anthropology of Labor)
Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, (Professor, University College Dublin, and PI of the ERC funded project ‘Flexible Work, Rigid Politics: The Nexus Between Labour Precariousness and Authoritarian Politics in The Global South’)
Martin Fotta (Faculty member, Czech Academy of Sciences, and co-author, The Anthropological Career in Europe: A Complete Report on the EASA Membership Survey)
Mallika Shakya (Associate Professor, South Asian University, and author,  Death of an Industry: The Cultural Politics of Garment Manufacturing during the Maoist Revolution in Nepal)
Robert Power (Business Anthropologist, Allianz).
Module Description AN862:  Ethnography Winter School
This module is a comprehensive introduction to ethnography.  The course is delivered in a burst format over one week, and features the collaborative teaching of practising ethnographers, including both academics and professional researchers.  ‘Ethnography’ is more than a ‘method’:  it comprises a whole style of thought encompassing forms of observation, analysis, and writing.  The module therefore emphasizes analysis and theory in addition to the research practices (interviewing, participant observation, note-taking) conventionally associated with qualitative research methodology.  Themes covered include:  culture and difference, contexts and cases (working in NGOs, clinics, corporations), styles of representation and the politics of knowledge, research ethics and ethnographic engagement.  The module is also structured as a workshop, so that ethnographers at various stages of their careers -- from students planning proposals, to dissertation writers analysing previously collected material, to research professionals who may not be based in academia -- will be able to produce work within the module that relates to their respective career stages, locations, and goals.  This work, such as a proposal draft or a stretch of ethnographic writing, forms the basis for module assessment. It is not necessary for this work to tie in with the theme of the current edition of the Winter School.
Research students based at institutions other than Maynooth University are welcome to register for the Winter School, but the procedures for enrolling in the course for credit will necessarily be somewhat complicated. You are advised to be in touch well in advance with the Maynooth Anthropology Department Office (anthropology.office@mu.ie) and Dr Chandana Mathur (chandana.mathur@mu.ie).
Further details will be available in the coming days. The first important date to bear in mind if you are planning to participate in the Winter School is 11th January: please send in a piece of writing you are working on – be it a research proposal or essay, or even a 5,000+ word chapter draft – by then to chandana.mathur@mu.ie.



16th January 2023

9.30 to 10.30am
Chandana Mathur - Introduction

11.00 to 1.00pm
Jonathan Parry (Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics) and Chandana Mathur ‘Ethnography as Work: A conversation with Jonathan Parry’

1.00 to 2.00pm Lunch

2.00 to 3.15pm
Initial work cluster meeting

3.30 to 5.00pm
Rosana Pinheiro-Machado (Professor, University College Dublin), ‘Are authoritarian regimes in the Global South enabled by precarious labour conditions?: The case of Brazil’

17th January 2023

9.30 to 11.30am
Work clusters.

11.45 to 1.15pm
Session with Jamie Saris (Associate Professor, Maynooth University)

1.15 to 2.15pm Lunch

2.15 to 3.15pm
Chandana Mathur (Associate Professor, Maynooth University), ‘Social memory, history, and the conditions of possibility for labour resistance’

3.30 to 5.00pm
Sharryn Kasmir (Professor, Hofstra University), ‘The place of ethnography in the past, the present and the future of the anthropology of labour’

18th January 2023

9.30 to 11.00am
Martin Fotta (Faculty member, Czech Academy of the Sciences), ‘Anthropology at Work: The EASA survey on precarious academic labour conditions in the anthropological profession in Europe’ 

11.15 to 12.45pm
Ana Ivasiuc (Lecturer, Maynooth University), ‘Policing work - policing as work: an ethnography of policing the Roma in Rome’

12.45 to 1.45pm Lunch

1.45 to 3.15pm
Session with Tom Strong (Lecturer, Maynooth University)

3.30 to 5.00pm
Work clusters.

19th January 2023

10.00 to 11.45am
Robert Power (Business Anthropologist, Allianz), ‘What is a business anthropologist?’

12.00 to 1.30pm
Mallika Shakya (Associate Professor, South Asian University), ‘Beyond Shopfloor Ethnography: Work, Union and Nation’

1.30 to 2.30pm Lunch

2.30 to 4.30pm
Work clusters.

20th January 2023

9.30 to 4.30pm (12.30 to 1.30pm Lunch)
Student presentations.