Symposium in cultural sociology on the topic of Ethnography!


Please book the dates 15-16th of May 2017 for the upcoming symposium in cultural sociology on the topic of Ethnography! The symposium will be held in Uppsala and is organised by the Cultural Matters Group (CMG) at the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University.

The format is of a smaller conference in which everyone will partake in a common discussion of papers submitted in advance. This means that there will be a limit for the number of participants. The symposium will also include a lecture held by an invited speaker, a panel discussion with invited speakers as well as a conference dinner.
The keynote of the symposium is Jeffrey Kidder, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University, Chicago  Kidder has received a great deal of attention for his ethnographic book about bike messengers in the United States: Urban Flow: Bike Messengers and the City (Cornell University Press, 2011). He has published widely, in journals such as Theory & Society, Sociological Theory, Qualitative Sociology, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Symbolic Interaction, His ethnographic interest concerns the body, movement, space and emotions. Kidder’s lecture will focus on his new book on parkour and the city. The lecture is entitled: Parkour and the Reimagining of Urban Possibilities.

Furthermore, we organize a panel to discuss the topic of Embodied Ethnography. Ethnography as a form of work is facing a number of changes and challenges. While not entirely new, a growing number of ethnographers pay greater attention to the their bodies and their modification as a way to acquire a deeper understanding of the lifeworld they investigate. This kind of research entails “embodiment”—that is an epistemological position holding that a certain kind of knowledge can primarily, or solely, be derived through bodily experience of the activity studied, and cannot be understood from afar. Relatedly, “embodied ethnography” is bound to include an affective component used to bond with the studied groups, as well as to monitor and record researchers’ experiences and feelings, and include those by whom the researcher temporarily experiences life with. Further, this type of work is connected with an increasing attention to sensorial approaches and the use of photo and video material to understand, describe, and communicate research trying to also reach audiences beyond academia. This panel will bring into a dialogue a number of ethnographers practicing these approaches.

Please sign up by e-mailing Marcus Persson ( Deadline for submitting abstracts (both Swedish and English is accepted) is 15 February. For those who get accepted, you will need to distribute the paper in advance and the submission deadline is 3 May. Commentators on the papers will be appointed subsequent to the deadline.

A more detailed program will be distributed later but registration is open now, so please sign up already! The conference is free of charge, including the conference dinner Tuesday evening. Any expenses for travel and/or accommodation will however have to be covered by the participant themselves.

A warm welcome from the organizing committee,
Tora Holmberg, Fredrik Palm, Mai Lundemark, Ugo Corte, Marcus Persson