Sunday, November 22, 2015: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM

205 (Colorado Convention Center)

The practice of cultural inquiry is changing along with the methods and technologies we use to study people, places, and processes. Smart surveys can be administered via touch screen, participant observation and interviews completed over Skype, and fieldnotes captured with electronic pens can be translated to digital text and sound files. Many growing areas of anthropology including environmental, disaster responses, food studies, climate change, energy policy, medical, social movements, and STS research are engaging new methodologies and borrowing from outside the discipline. Researchers are experimenting in active dialogue with research participants over social media such as Instagram and Twitter, using Internet communities for data collection, documenting mutualism in human-non-human relationships, and mapping spatial presentations of social networks through GIS mapping. Combined, these advances and experimental techniques are changing the face of ethnographic research. In this session we will explore new and revised methods used to capture data on the human experience and the new (and familiar) dilemmas they present for ethical and robust research. How is research being pushed, improved, or challenged with current trends in technology? Whose voices are elevated or silenced through online engagements? What types of research methods are being generated with the new focus on materiality with the “ontological turn”? Are traditional ethnographic methods benefiting from these diversified techniques? What is lost and what is gained? This roundtable will serve as a means for participants to reflect on recent advances and fusions in the research methods they use and to discuss the many facets that ethnographic research may tackle in the next decade. We will consider new ethical challenges, synergistic products, and new possibilities for anthropology research.

This session would be of particular interest to:
Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students, Those involved in mentoring activities

Organizers:  Caela B. O’Connell (UNC at Chapel Hill)

Chairs:  Elizabeth Cartwright (Idaho State University) and Jeffrey H Cohen (The Ohio State University)

Roundtable Presenters:  Claudia A Engel (Standford University), Betty B Faust (CICY), Jeffrey W. Mantz (National Science Foundation), Christopher McCarty (University of Florida, Department of Anthropology), Erin P Riley (San Diego State University), Michela Spencer (Charles Darwin University) and Gordon L Ulmer (Ohio State)


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