Visual and Performative Ethnography Symposium at UPenn (March 2015)


  1. The past twenty years have witnessed an “ethnographic turn” across academic disciplines and professional schools in the university. Whether in business, medicine, law, photography, sculpture, or performance art, qualitative social science methods have become more common as scholars and practitioners seek insights into the everyday worlds and ideas of those with whom they work. At the same time, contemporary developments in technology have made new representational techniques widely available and familiar, especially to younger generations now moving into academia. These transformations have forced us to confront new questions: How are we thinking about what the digital age means for humanistic, social scientific, and professional inquiry and practice in today’s world? How are we using both old and new technologies to advocate for and work with communities? What tools for research and communication should we offer the next generation of Ph.D. and J.D. students, and how do we prepare them and others to assess non-text based research? This cross-school interdisciplinary symposium is designed to generate a public conversation regarding visuality, performativity, ethnography, and 21st century multi-modal research.