July 2021: Online Ethnographic Field School Now Enrolling!

This year the Florence Ethnographic Field School is offering an online ethnographic methods course, worth three undergraduate or graduate credits in Anthropology (ANTY495 Field Experience) from the University of Montana, taught remotely from Florence, Italy by Prof. Zachary Androus.

The course is structured around each student independently completing their own ethnographic research project: this summer we will focus on how established methods of participant-observation, qualitative data collection, and qualitative data analysis and reporting can be adapted to online contexts and communities.

We cover the historical development of the ethnographic technique, how qualitative methods fit into the big picture of scientific inquiry, ethics and Institutional Review Boards, the influence of interpretive anthropology and the ‘literary turn’, the feminist critique thereof, and multiple approaches to collecting and reporting data. Throughout, we keep our focus on the urban, and use the complexity inherent therein as a point of departure for adapting ethnographic methods to online environments.

You can find all the information about the course, including the schedule of class meetings, in the syllabus. Follow the links on the right for more information, including how to apply, dates, and costs.

Prof. Androus has been conducting ethnographic research in Italy continuously for fifteen years. Throughout the course he draws on his extensive archive of material, from fieldnotes to interviews, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at what contemporary ethnographic research actually involves. This is coupled with real talk about what it’s like to pursue a career in the social sciences, from grad school to job prospects.

Why aren’t we meeting onsite in Florence this year? We waited until as late as possible to see if we could. Unfortunately, Italy remains in a declared state of national emergency. The US has issued a Level Four Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel) from the Department of State and a Level Four COVID-19 Travel Notice (Avoid All Travel) from the Centers for Disease Control. The Florence Ethnographic Field School will not invite students to disregard travel advisories issued by the US government, nor will it host students during a declared state of emergency. As important as it is, studying abroad does not constitute essential travel.

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