Solidarity & Betrayal: An Ethnographic Writing Workshop


Solidarity & Betrayal: A practice-based workshop on ethnographic writing 

Hosted by Hannah Burnett | PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Friday, April 30th, 12:00-1:20pm
Pre-registration by April 23 required. See details below.

Workshop description: How do we navigate fieldwork relationships throughout the writing process? What choices do we make about representing these relationships, critiquing them, or reproducing harm? What effect do these choices have on our interlocutors and our audiences? This session grapples with the difficulties that come up when writing about people, places, and institutions with whom we feel in solidarity or in political contradiction. Examples might include: publishing an analysis of environmental racism carried out through projects in which the researcher was embedded; reproducing an interaction among relatives that could reveal a family secret to someone never meant to know; reporting racist/sexist/xenophobic/transphobic dialogue spoken by someone you developed a close field relationship with; analyzing the racist structures reproduced by staff at a seemingly progressive public school that supported your research (Shange 2019); repeating particular and/or violent language used to describe historical events and places; confronting the ways your work has been mobilized towards ends you dis/agree with.

In order to join, participants must register in advance by emailing organizers with a ~500 word piece of writing they would like to workshop. This can be a piece of framing writing, an ethnographic vignette, or even reported speech. During the meeting, we will do some formal experimentation, editing, reflecting, and writing in real time together. Please include a cover page on your writing that includes your name/pronouns, department, and one sentence identifying the difficulty at the root of the piece (your conundrum, ethical question, insecurity, etc).

Drafts should be sent to by 9am on Friday, April 23. Participants will be contacted by Monday, April 26 with zoom information and readings

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