Adolfo Estalella and Tomás S. Criado visit the methods lab seminar 20 January
We are glad to welcome Adolfo Estalella and Tomás S. Criado. Adolfo is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology and Social Psychology (Complutense University of Madrid).Tomás is Senior Researcher at the Chair of Urban Anthropology and Director of the Stadtlabor of Multimodal Anthropology, Humboldt-University of Berlin. They are the authors of “Experimental Collaborations. Ethnography through Fieldwork Devices”, recently published in Berghahn books.
For Zoom link to this session, contact Marie Stilling Hansen: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ethnographic invention: Against the method's hegemony
It has become commonplace to assume that the figure of method stands for a technical knowledge guiding empirical activity as well as a faithful description of it. However, we know that the empirical situation always exceeds method’s rules and guides: our inquiries are always fraught with imponderabilia that forces our improvisation. Intriguingly, the inventive gestures and creative practices always present in our inquiries have been traditionally obviated and undervalued. Focusing specifically on the case of ethnography, and drawing on our own ethnographic experience, we propose that ethnographic inquiries grow out of improvisation and invention: ethnographers always invent in practice how to pose relevant questions. Against the hegemonic imagination that resorts to the figure of method to describe fieldwork we offer a conceptualization of ethnography as an act of invention: Ethnographers creatively invent how to relate to their ethnographic counterparts.
Adolfo Estalella is interested in grassroots urbanism and digital cultures and he has investigated the knowledge practices and technologies of neighborhood organizations and urban activists in Madrid. His interest in the transformations of anthropological modes of investigation has led him to a sustained exploration of the experimental and inventive modes of anthropological inquiry. (http://estalella.eu)
Tomás Criado works at the crossroads of Anthropology and STS, he has developed a particular concern around how bodily diversity comes to matter in the knowledge, material and care politics of participatory city-making.In his work, he has also been experimenting with different forms of public engagement, ethnography and pedagogy in projects pivoting around technoscientific activisms and the democratization of urban knowledges. He co-curates xcol, an ethnographic inventory: www.xcol.org