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The Pitch of Ethnography (including the 2008 ASA Firth Lecture)

Conference at the LSE Anthropology Department
in association with the Association of Social Anthropologists| of Great Britain and the Commonwealth

The Pitch of Ethnography conference successfully took place at LSE on 17 and 18 March 2008.

Ethnography, and ethnographic fieldwork, are at the heart of anthropology as a discipline, and increasingly valued as an investigative tool in neighbouring disciplines, and by business and policy-makers. We wish to build on recent work both on ethnography as a research method, and on the nature of ethnographic evidence (see Engelke (ed.) Objects of Evidence, special issue, JRAI 2008) and to explore ethnography as a form, and practice, of knowledge. We shall address the following questions:

  • how does ethnography shape the object of anthropological knowledge and conversely how is it shaped by shifting conceptions of that object?
  • have these relationships transformed in recent years and how do they look from the perspectives of neighbouring disciplines?
  • how is the problem of intersubjectivity (or other minds) filtered through ethnography as practice or genre?
  • what are the virtues (and vices) of ethnography?
  • what are the relations between ethnography as practice, genre, and knowledge?
  • what is the (proper) object of ethnography?

Janice Boddy, University of Toronto (ASA Firth Lecture)
Rita Astuti, Anthropology Department, LSE
Karin Barber, Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham
Joshua Barker, Anthropology Department, University of Toronto
Dominic Boyer, Anthropology, Cornell University
Michael Carrithers, Anthropology Department, Durham University
Nancy Cartwright / Sophia Efstathiou, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences, LSE
Paloma Gay y Blasco / Huon Wardle, Anthropology, University of St Andrews
Penelope Harvey, Anthropology Department, University of Manchester
Caroline Humphrey, Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge
Heonik Kwon, Anthropology Department, University of Edinburgh
Mao Mollona, Anthropology Department, Goldsmiths College
Knut Myhre, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet
Anna Portisch, Anthropology,  SOAS / Human Sciences, Brunel University
Nanneke Redclift, Anthropology Department, UCL
Nate Roberts, Anthropology Department Columbia / LSE
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

Click through for the Pitch of Ethnography conference programme| and follow the links to see individual paper titles and abstracts.