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Atelier 4 - Ethnographic Research

Workshop led by Georgina Born

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 3 – 6pm
Hexagram Resource Centre
EV Building, 11.705, Concordia University, 1515 St. Catherine Street West, Montreal QC

Ethnographic research has become one of the most fashionable and exotic research methods in the humanities and social sciences, but it can also be misunderstood. In this workshop we look at a number of central issues in ethnographic research, from theoretical, epistemological and ethical questions to very practical challenges to do with how to go about ethnographic fieldwork. We consider: what does it mean to carry out ethnographic research? How can it be done rigorously? How can it be defended against accusations that it is an entirely subjective engagement with the object of research? Is reflexivity a panacea for such criticisms?

This 3 hour workshop will be relevant to anyone doing ethnographic research from the social sciences or using ethnography as part of their artistic practice.

Biography

Georgina Born is Professor of Music and Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Her work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media and cultural production. Her ethnographies have often focused on major institutions – television production at the BBC, computer music at IRCAM in Paris, interdisciplinary art-science and new media art at the University of California, Irvine. Her books are Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (1995), Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music (edited with D. Hesmondhalgh, 2000), and Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (2005). Two edited books are out this year: Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience, and Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (edited with A. Barry). From 2010 to 2015 she is directing the research programme ‘Music, Digitization, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies’, funded by the European Research Council, which examines the transformation of music and musical practices by digitization through comparative ethnographies in seven countries in the developing and developed world.

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