Brit Ross Winthereik: "Experimenting with Ethnography"
The Departmental Seminar Series features Brit Ross Winthereik, Head of the Center for Digital Welfare at the IT University of Copenhagen.
This seminar will be a hybrid event where professor Winthereik will be presenting via Zoom. Those who want to attend physically are more than welcome to join us in the meeting room on the ground floor at Gullhaug torg 1.
This talk takes its point of departure in a project with Andrea Ballestero, which was recently published as the co-edited volume Experiments in Ethnography: A companion to analysis (Duke 2021). The publication of the volume completes a long-standing interest in working through ethnographic materials in ways that problematize the ethnographic field of interest through playful attention to the methods, tools, and material spaces we use in our analytical practice.
In the talk I exemplify key points from the book with my own experiences of using podcasting techniques in research. Podcasting can play several roles in anthropological analysis other than that of data collection through the recording of an interview. I present three ways of using it: To shape field relations, to communicate research, and as a thinking device. All these ways can be useful as part of ethnographic analysis and show how technology collapses the perceived distance between ‘the field’ (data collection) and ‘the desk’ (analysis and theorizing) in ways that bring about interesting complications such as how to identify an ethnographic insight from the process of making it.
Brit Ross Winthereik is Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, where she directs the Center for Digital Welfare. She holds a PhD in Science & Technology Studies from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She has been visiting researcher at the University of Melbourne and the University of California Davis. She has published on public sector digitalization, infrastructures, and ethnographic methods in information studies, anthropology, and STS journals. Her monograph “Monitoring Movements in Development Aid” with Bruun Jensen came out with the MIT Press in 2013. Co-edited volumes include Electrifying Anthropology, Bloomsbury 2019 (with S. Abram and T. Yarrow), Energy Worlds in Experiment, Mattering Press 2021 (with L. Watts and J. Maguire), and Experimenting with Ethnography, Duke 2021 (with A. Ballestero).