In Fall 2020, the Ethnography Workshop convened to host a series of public events around a variety of topics in hopes of critically engaging the shared experience of living through the pandemic. In Spring 2021, while continuing to be socially distanced, we will work through a single topic: death. The decision to scale down our business as usual is made at the end of Fall 2020. Instead of doing more events, we want to value mutual support among the members of the Ethnography Workshop by attending less to performance but more to intimacy. And, to do this cultural work in times of uncertainty, we will stay with death as an overarching theme of this semester.
We plan to share among us our own works-in-progress, build archives/glossaries, and feelings/thoughts/comments for each other. We will also watch a film, read a novel, listen to a playlist together. This emphasis on cultivating internal culture is both intellectual and ethnographic. We hope that this change of strategy to endure the weight of the time allows for the fellows to explore their inquiries through more ethnographic modes of attention as in expressing, crafting, feeling, and archiving.
To value closed exchanges, however, does not necessarily mean that we are going to be invisible. We are going to have one public event on March 29. We will continue to share parts of our dialogues and a list of references on this website. When we discuss widely publicized materials like music, films, and novels, we will open the sessions to the public. In such occasions, we will let you know through our listserv and this website. So please stay tuned!
We have one event coming up on March 29, Mon, 1:30-3 pm (EST). The details will be shared through our listserv and this website soon. A blogpost from our first session on February 5—Death and Rebirth—will be updated soon.