Para-site Experiments

The "Para-site" modality is primarily a pedagogical project of building reflexive sites into ongoing ethnographic projects of dissertation fieldwork that do not yet operate by explicit collaborative norms and practices.  Every ethnographic projects develops de facto collaborative relations in the sustained work of fieldworkers and particular subjects who have traditionally been called ‘informants.’ These subjects are more than interviewees. Often the key concepts and arguments of ethnographic research are negotiated and forged within the relationships of fieldwork.  Nowadays such relationships are varied and complex. For appropriate projects, the Center offers opportunities for ethnographic researchers to enhance these embedded relations of knowledge production within fieldwork by creating the seminar or conference room as a site built into research design. In a half-academic, half-fieldwork context, the ethnographer develops in a more formal and searching way the found conceptual apparatus of research, otherwise embedded in the traditional research process. This kind of event was the first example of the development of the Center’s pedagogical interest in a laboratory or studio function. For reports on a typical "Para-site" exercise see: 

Ethnographic Research on Iranian Activists, Intellectuals, and Secularism
Report by Philip Grant - Para-site event on January 24, 2009

The parole para-site
Report by Robert Werth - Para-site event on January 12, 2008

Methods of Humanization: Death Penalty Mitigation and Ethnography as Anti-Discipline
Report by Jesse Cheng - Para-site event on November 4, 2006



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