Center for Ethnography Events Archive


Aesthetics and Cosmopolis- Three Part Series
By Nikos Papastergiadis

RSVP to attend Three Part Series by 11/7/2019

November 14, 2019
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
SSPA - Room 2112

Cosmopolitanism: A World View
November 13, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
SSPA - Room 2112

L'Internationale: An Outline for the Museums of the Commons
November 12, 2019
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
SSPA - Room 2112

Capturing Ambient Participation: Networked Public Spaces and the problem of cultural value


October 26, 2019
Toxic Legacies of War: The Irvine Case
Walkshop at various sites (Itinerary)
For more information, contact Jennifer Terry:



May 28-31, 2019

Visualizing Toxic Subjects Galley Exhibit

Visualizing Toxic Subjects is a collaborative project in which participants are collecting, captioning, sharing and commenting on ethnographic visualizations, working to update ways of using a variety of visual materials in the conduct and expression of ethnography.  


Project Page

Blog Post (Teaching Culture)

Sign up for Guided Tours 

April 25, 2019

Experimental Ethnography Working Group Dinner

March 21, 2019 

 Paraethnographic Film

Tom Boellstorff, University of California, Irvine

March 11, 2019 

Imaginary Ethnographies of the Future

Organized by Gabriele Schwab, Distinguished Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Anthropology, niversity of California, Irvine
February 13, 2018

Ethnography, Photography, and the Praxis of Intimacy 

Kaushik Sunder Rajan 
February 7, 2019

Comics as Ethnographic Method

Roundtable discussion with Lissa team: Sherine Hamdy, Coleman Nye, Anne Brackenbury, Caroline Brewer, Sarula Bao, Francesco Dragone
Discussants: Johanna Shapiro, (Medical Humanities) Jonathan Alexander (English), Antoinette LaFarge (Visual Arts)
Part of Comics in Academia?! a 3-Day event with the author-artists team who created Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution
October 31, 2018


Maka Suarez& Jorge Nuñez, Center for Interdisciplinary Ethnography-Kaleidos, FLACSO-Ecuador and University of Cuenca
October 31, 2018


Steven J. Davis, Associate Professor, Department of Earth System Science - UCI
October 18, 2018


Dr. Erkan Saka – Associate Professor of media and journalism at the School of Communication at Istanbul’s Bilgi University
Co-sponsored with the Department of Anthropology



June 18, 2018                         

Atmospheric Ethnography: Greenhouse Gas Emissions by the Super-Rich 

Dan Rabinowitz, Porter Center of Environmental Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel-Aviv University; 2017-2018: Distinguished Fellow, Advanced Research Collaboration, CUNY Graduate Center
May 1, 2018                                                      

Open Anthropology at UC Irvine: The Morphing of Ethnography into Large-Scale, Sustained Projects

Bill Maurer, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Kim and Mike Fortun, UCI Department of Anthropology, and comments by Nick Seaver, Tufts University



April 21, 2016           

Experimental Ethnographic Forms Juxtaposition/Intervention/Co-creation

Karen Waltorp and Christian Vium, Aarhus University, Eye and Mind Lab and Camera as Cultural Critique Research Unit
February 24, 2016                             

23rd Annual Margolis Lecture

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Visiting Professor of Law and Huo Global Policy Initiative Research Fellow Columbia Global Policy Initiative, Columbia University Law School
Co-sponsored event



April 28, 2015                                   

Ecologies in beta: The City as Infrastructure of Apprenticeships

Alberto Corsin-Jimenez, Spanish National Research Council
April 23, 2015              

23rd Annual Margolis Lecture

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Visiting Professor of Law and Huo Global Policy Initiative Research Fellow Columbia Global Policy Initiative, Columbia University Law School
Co-sponsored event
February 27, 2015

The Undersea Network

Nicole Starosielski, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU
Co-sponsored event



May 24, 2014                       

Grad Student Conference: Like Oil and Water - Designing Social Research on Resource Conflicts across Categories and Scales

Nikhil Anand, Princeton University; Andrea Ballestero, Rice University; David Hughes, Rutgers University; Valerie Olson, UCI
Co-sponsored event
April 11, 2014

Big: Culture and Data in the Digital Field

The UCI Center for Ethnography and the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing
Co-sponsored workshop
March 7, 2014

Markets, Culture, and Consumption Workshop

The Paul Merage School of Business and Center for Ethnography
February 8, 2014 

Ethnocharrette 2.0

Joseph Dumit, UC Davis, and Kim Fortun, RPI
A conversation about ethnographic method.
February 7, 2014 

Up the Anthropology

Joseph Dumit, UC Davis, and Kim Fortun, RPI
A conversation about anthropology and undergraduate pedagogy.
February 5, 2014 

Of Cats and Plants in Iran: Ethnography, the Ordinary, and the Ethics and Poetics Of Invasion

Nahal Naficy, Tehran
Co-sponsored event
December 6, 2013 

Fieldwork After Ethnos

Tobias Rees, McGill University; Stephen J. Collier, New School University; and Christopher Kelty, UCLA
One day conference



June 2013                                                          

A Chronicle of Art (and Anthropology) at the World Trade Organization... in Five Not-So-Easy Pieces - George E. Marcus

Participation in and co-sponsored an Anthropology/Art Installation in the Headquarters of the World Trade Organization, Geneva, an experiment in creating ethnographic data on expert cultures through art projects.
May 25, 2013             

Speculative Ecologies: Using Theories of Ecology to Re-Imagine Your Research

Half-day workshop
May 9, 2013

Information Discussion on The Asthma Files

Kim and Mike Fortun, Science and Technology Studies Program, Rensseleaer Polytechnic Institute
Second conference on “Asthma Files In Tehran”, Co-organized with the Center for Persian Studies, UCI
May 8, 2013

“Ethnography by Other Means:  A Turn toward Methods”

Kim Fortun, “PECE: Digital Platforms for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography”
George Marcus, “Ethnography In the Interfaces Between Art and Design”
Co-organized and sponsored with Professor Elana Zilberg, Department of Communications, UCSD
March 7-9, 2013

Anthropology of Markets & Consumption Conference

Co-sponsored event
February 13, 2013

Street Workout: A Collective Production of Globally Shared Bodily Techniques through Semiotic-Material Mediation

Alain Mueller, Institute of the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, Resident Research Associate of the Center for Ethnography



June 7, 2012                                                                                                                     

Magic and War: What Soldiers Take with Them

Carol Burke, Department of English, UCI
June 7-July 26, 2012           

Learning by Doing at the Farm

Curated by Robbie Kett, UCI Anthropology Graduate Student, and Anna Kryczka, UCI Visual Studies Graduate Student
Co-sponsored event
May 17-18, 2012

Collaborative Research Workshop: Oral History of Iranian Scientists, Engineers, and Medical Professionals: Tehran Asthma Files (TFA)

Co-sponsored event
May 8, 2012

Collaborative Performances: Agency and Gender in California Iranian Women's Activism

Philip Grant, Graduating Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, UCI
Grant had been supported by the Center in his production of a para-site during the course of his fieldwork.
May 4, 2012

Design/Ethnography/Method: Problems and Potentials

Melissa Cefkin, Anthropologist, Service System Research, IBM; Elizabeth Chin, Anthropology, Occidental College; Christopher Throop, Anthropology, UCLA; Elana Zilberg, Communication, UCSD
April 26, 2012

The Center sponsored a meeting on the usefulness of perspectives on ‘improvisation’ for ethnographic method. In this second meeting, interested students joined faculty, and there were discussions about making such meetings a sponsored, continuing activity of the Center.

April 25, 2012 

The Spirit of Calculation: Contemporary Finance in the Weberian Imaginary

Arjun Appadurai, New York University
Co-sponsored event
April 9-16, 2012 

214 SQ. FT : an installation

Part of the Center for Ethnography Rethinking Design Series
Co-sponsored and co-organized installation
April 9, 2012 

City as Laboratory Series at CicLAvia: Panel on Experiments in Urban Fieldwork at UC Irvine

Alexandra Lippman, Adonia Lugo, and Joanne Nucho, UCI Anthropology Graduate Students
April 5, 2012 

Ethnography of Virtual Groups of Play: From Multi-located Ethnography to the Summoning of the Field

Olivier Servais, University of Louvain
February 16, 2012 

Conversations with Étienne Baliba

Co-sponsored event
February 8, 2012

Noon Workshop: Improvisation

The Center sponsored a noon workshop on the interdisciplinary uses and meanings of  ‘improvisation’ in the arts and qualitative research methods such as ethnography. This meeting was organized by Professor Julia Elyachar of Anthropology and included faculty from the arts, including dance, theater, and music. Plans were laid for future meetings and the inclusion of interested graduate students.
January 13, 2012 

Urban Sustainability in the Age of Climate Justice

Andrew Ross, New York University
January 27, 2012 

American Anthropology: A Conference at UC Irvine Honoring Tom Boellstorff

Co-sponsored event
December 3, 2011

The convening of the Center’s second ‘ethnocharrette’ as a pedagogical tool, with the participation of graduate students from law and society, anthropology, informatics, and sociology. Professor Susan Ossman, UC Riverside, attended as a guest commentator. Professor Keith Murphy reported on this event.

November 10, 2011 

Constructing and Sharing Body Techniques through the Mediation of Things: The Translocal Examples of the Hardcore Punk Scene and the Street Workout Movement (with a Reflection on How Slippery Fieldwork Can Be)

Alain Mueller, Postdoctoral Researcher, Center for Ethnography, UCI
Co-sponsored event
October 11, 2011 

An Informal Conversation - Mixing Design and Anthropology

Elizabeth Chin and Sean Donahue, Art Center College of Design



May 10, 2011                      

Seeing the Sex in the Moche Sex Pots

Mary Weismantel, Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University
Co-sponsored event
May 4, 2011            

Weblogistan Goes to War: Representational Practices, Gendered Soldiers, and Neoliberal Diasporic Entrepreneurship

Sima Shakhsari, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Houston
Co-sponsored event
May 2, 2011

Transformations of Ethnography Both Within and Without Academia

Robert Willim and Tom O'Dell, Lund University
April 28-29, 2011

Cultural Knowledge Production and the Public Understanding: Iran Since the Islamic Revolution

Co-convener of Ethnography of Iran Workshop with the Center for Persian Studies
April 8, 2011

Traces and Remainders

Co-sponsored 'Anthropology in Transit' conference
March 4, 2011

More Tales of the Field

John Van Maasen, Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, MIT
Co-sponsored event
October 22-23, 2010

Love & Terror: A Forum

Co-sponsored event



June 8, 2010                             

Seminar on Yucatan, Mexico

"Trova music and politics in Yucatan, Mexico" by Dr. Gabriela Vargas-Cetina, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico
"Food and the making of regional taste in Yucatan" by Dr. Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico
May 10, 2010            

The Islamic Revolution and Academic Research: Three Generations of American Ethnographic Work

Co-sponsored event 
April 22-23, 2010

CANCELED: Counterinsurgency and Humanism

Isaiah Wilson, Lt. Colonel, West Point; Christoph Zuercher, University of Ottawa; David Price, Saint Martin’s University; Ruthie Gilmore, USC
April 1, 2010 

Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market

Janine Wedel, Professor, School of Public Policy, George Mason University
Co-sponsored event
March 17, 2010

Institute as Ethnographer: Doing Research on Social Philanthropy

Bill Maurer, Anthropology Professor and Department Chair, UCI
Discussant: Mimi Ito, Research Scientist, Humanities Research Institute
Conversations on Collaboration Series
February 19, 2010

Speak, Write, Paint Colonial Scripts and Indigenous Literacies in Latin America

Co-sponsored symposium



June 1-2, 2009                                                                                          

Jamer Hunt, Parsons School of Design at the New School

Ethnography by Design

Discussant: Anne Burdick, Chair of the Media Design Program at Art Center, Pasadena

Center Para-Site Workshop

Question/Answer Session
May 21, 2009              

Militarization of Social Thought

W.T. Mitchell, University of Chicago, and Ghassan Hage, University of Melbourne
Studio Sessions: “Militarizing Critical Theory: War, Terror, Violence”
Co-sponsored with UCHRI
April 24-25, 2009

At the Juncture of Social Theory and Ethnography: Two Days of Conversations

These conversations, held at Rice University, were intended to examine how social theory is used to contextualize and give shape to projects of ethnographic research today.  
Ethnographies have become more theoretical since the 1980s, but how theory "works" in relation to ethnographic inquiry is one of the most vexing and interesting questions about method, the forms of research practice, the identity and authority of ethnography, and the imaginaries of those who produce and participate in it.  
Participants included Dominic Boyer (Rice), James Faubion (Rice), Rebecca Lemov (Harvard), Andreas Glaeser (Chicago), George Marcus (UCI), Kaushik Sunder Rajan (UCI), Kim Fortun (RPI), and Phil Grant (UCI).
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Ethnography, UCI, and the Department of Anthropology, Rice University
April 9, 2009 

War, Terror, Violence

Dilip Gaonkar, Northwestern University
Studio Sessions: “Militarizing Critical Theory: War, Terror, Violence”
Co-sponsored with UCHRI
February 24, 2009 

Freedom and Blasphemy: Indonesian Press Bans and Danish Cartoons

Webb Keane, Professor and Director, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Co-sponsored event
February 3, 2009 

The Deep Play of Theatre-Making: Rehearsal Poetics and Pragmatics

Constance Perin, Visiting Scholar, Anthropology, MIT
February 3, 2009 

The Value of Options: Statistics, Historical Models and the Path from El Salvador to Iraq

David Pederson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, UCSD
Co-sponsored event
January 29, 2009 

Ethnography By Design

Conversation with Kimberly Christen, Washington State University; Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA
Moderated by Chris Kelty, UCLA
January 24, 2009

The Theoretical and the Practical: Iranian Intellectuals

Para-site conference with guest speaker Ramin Jahanbegloo
Co-sponsored with the Center for Persian Studies, UCI
January 13, 2009

A Couple of Things I Know About Improvisation from Hanging Out with Samoan Orators and Jazz Musicians

Alessandro Duranti, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, UCLA
Nov. 24-25, 2008 

Red Cents and Indian Country: Native Claims to Things Conference organized by Justin Richland and Bill Maurer

This conference brought together Native law scholars, jurists and tribal leaders to talk about the ways they employ para-ethnographic theories and methods in the construction of notions of "Indian," "Tribe" and nation, sovereignty, etc. in their work. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Center in Law, Society and Culture, and the Center for Ethnography
October 22, 2008 

Ethnography by Design

Conversation with Paul Dourish, Professor, Informatics, UCI; Chris Kelty, Information Studies, UCLA; and George Marcus, Director, Center for Ethnography
 October 14, 2008

 Inside the UC Budget Bureaucracy: An Adventure in Critical Ethnography

Chris Newfield, Department of English, UC Santa Barbara



May 6, 2008                                                                                                           


Iron Hands in Ethnographically-Informed Gloves? Anthropology, Torture, and the Importance of Engaged Critique in the Global War on Terrorism

Laura McNamara, Sandia Laboratories, Member, AAA Ad Hoc Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities
Co-hosted with UCHRI
May 5, 2008       

STUDIO-SESSIONS: Militarizing Critical Theory: Interrogation

Page DuBois (UCSD), Laura McNamara (Sandia Labs), Jean Maria Arrig (independent scholar), and Ray Bennet (US Army Interrogator, interrogated Saddam Hussein)

April 18-19, 2008

Gender, Connectivity, & Change in the Gulf Arab States

Co-sponsored event
March 17, 2008

A Dialogue between the Anthropologies of Law and Public Policy

Donald Brenneis, Professor of Anthropology, University of California Santa Cruz and Carol Greenhouse, Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University
Co-sponsored event
March 14-15, 2008

Experimental Systems as Ethnographic Modality

Co-Sponsored Event with Native Claims in the (Post) Colonial Americas
February 21, 2008

Universal History at the Edge of Culture

Susan Buck-Morss, Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University
Co-sponsored event
February 4-5, 2008  

Two Talks by Luiz Eduardo Soares on Writing and Governing in Rio de Janeiro

On Writing and Governing in Rio de Janeiro

On Writing Elite da Tropa

Luiz Eduardo Soares, Professor, Department of Social Sciences, State University of Rio de Janeiro and Municipal Secretary of Violence Prevention in Nova Igaraçu, State of Rio de Janeiro
January 12, 2008

The Twenty-first Century Silk Road: Reconceptualizing the Middle Ground

Sylvia Yanagisako, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University and Lisa Rofel, Professor,
Department of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz
An Ethnography Of/As Collaboration Event
January 12, 2008

‘Parole’ Para-site Conference

Conference Organizer: Robert Werth, Graduate Student, School of Social Ecology
This conference was part of the Center As Para-site in Ethnographic Research Projects series
December 3, 2007 

Academia and Military/Intelligence Operations Report

Achille Mbembe and Caren Kaplan, University of California Davis; Saree Makdisi, UCLA; and Jenny Terry, UCI   
In partnership with the UCHRI, the Center for Ethnography sponsored a series of studio sessions that examine the uses and complicities of concepts and theories of culture developed in academic domains in the contemporary conduct of warfare, and of intelligence and security operations. The first studio session: "Militarizing Critical Theory" occurred in May of 2007
November 14, 2007  

STUDIO-SESSIONS: Michael Taussig, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

Sailing Through Color — a discussion of the role of color in the bodily unconscious
I really saw that  a talk concerning the meaning of drawings in fieldwork notebooks and taking up the issue of witnessing
Co-hosted event
August 22-25, 2007

HOIT 2007 — “Home Informatics and Telematics: ICT for the Next Billion

Co-sponsored with the UCI Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India



May 12, 2007                       

Problems, Scope and Limits of Ethnography in the Realm of Calculating Elites

Kim Fortun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Vincent Lepinay, MIT; Douglas Holmes, SUNY, Binghamton; Julia Elyachar, NYU; Paul Kockelman, Barnard College
One-Day Conference
May 4-5, 2007                                                     

What is so hard about soft law(s)? De-texturizing law’s structures of feeling

Co-sponsored Graduate Student-Faculty Workshop
May 2-5, 2007 

Chancellor's Lecture: Sally Engle Merry

Professor of Anthropology and Law and Society, New York University
Co-sponsored with UCI Center for Law and Society
April 19, 2007 

Collaboration is My Middle Name

Elinor Ochs, Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, UCLA
The Ethnography Of/As Collaboration
April 13-14, 2007 

Experimental Systems, States and Speculations: Anthropology at the Intersection of Life, Science and Capital

Co-sponsored conference
April 4, 2007 

Collaboration as/and Critique

Conversation with Steven Epstein, Bill Maurer, Deborah Heath and Michael Montoya
March 20-21, 2007 

The Ethnography of Intellectuals and the Predicaments of Theory Today

James Faubion, Rice University; Dominic Boyer, Cornell University
March 20, 2007
Rethinking Postmodernism through the Ethnography of Intellectual Culture
(Open and Free)
March 21, 2007
Luncheon and Talk
(by invitation only)
March 2, 2007 

Curious Lives of Documents

Symposium and Midnight University

Co-sponsored with UC Davis
November 4, 2006 

Methods of Humanization: Death Penalty Mitigation and Ethnography as Antidiscipline

The Center for Ethnography welcomed eight of the nation's leading capital defense advocates to begin a dialogue with academic ethnographers at UCI. By setting the knowledge practices of engaged academics and advocates side by side, this event represented an attempt to co-articulate the imaginary of the "human" as a potential point of convergence for fugitive knowledges.



May 11, 2006                      

Refunctioning Ethnography Redux

Bill Maurer and George Marcus reflected on the "Refunctioning Ethnography" workshop series and discussed possibilities for charting new approaches to ethnography through collaborations between CGPACS and the Center for Ethnography at UC Irvine
February 10-11, 2006                                                  

Ethnographic Experiments in the Anthropology of Biosecurity

Stephen Collier, New School; Andrew Lakoff, UCSD; and Paul Rabinow, UC Berkeley
Discussant: James Faubion, Rice University
January 27-28, 2006

Refunctioning Ethnography: A Workshop on Qualitative Methodologies, Interdisciplinarity and the Professions

Invited participants included Douglas Holmes, SUNY Binghamton; Christopher Kelty, Rice University; Hiro Miyazaki, Cornell University; and Annelise Riles, Cornell University
Co-sponsored event
October 23-24, 2005

Lively Capital 2.0: Ethnographic Method and Techno-Corporate Critique


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