Innovative pedagogy in Anthropology: Collaborative Event Ethnography

Dr Gavin Weston reports on the progress of the Teaching Fellowship project being undertaken this academic year (2015-16):

 

The project I am conducting for the TaLIC fellowship is a Collaborative Event Ethnography which has drawn together a research team of staff, postdocs, PhD students, MA and undergraduates with the aim of conducting research for publication.  While I was a tentative about the project at the beginning as the success of the project was entirely dependent on student volunteers, I need not have worried as the project over-recruited.  I was also concerned regarding what the group would decide to study as the idea was for the students to brainstorm and democratically decide the event they wanted to research. Again, I need not have worried as the students decided to research the Antiques Roadshow, which I never would have thought of myself. The Antiques Roadshow offers a rich terrain to explore the event itself and to focus on intrinsic parts of the event like queuing and the relationships between people, objects and ideas of value. If all goes according to plan we will be conducting the research in June.

The reason I had applied for the fellowship was to establish whether Collaborative Event Ethnography was a viable approach to teaching research methods, which had the fringe benefits of enhancing the publication records and supervisory experience of postgraduates. So far, it is going very well – but I will know more after the fieldwork – so fingers crossed.

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