Ethnographic Experimentation. 1st Colleex workshop

Ethnographic Experimentation
Fieldwork Devices and Companions

13th–15th July 2017, Jardim Botânico Tropical, Lisbon

First International Workshop of the #Colleex
Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation, an EASA network

Deadline extended: Friday 24 March

Call for papers

“Fieldwork is not what it used to be” (Faubion and Marcus, 2009). The investigation of previously ignored social domains and the incorporation of new sensibilities beyond its typically verbal or visual conventions, have expanded ethnography: Anthropologists now engage in novel forms of relationship and intervention, and enter into heterodox exchanges with other disciplines like arts and design. The invocation of experimentation in fieldwork is part of this widened exploration of ethnographic modalities that reshape the norm and form of fieldwork.

Ethnographic Experimentation, Colleex Workshop CFP (PDF)

Recent invocations of experimentation in ethnographic projects are not merely a metaphorical gesture. Descriptive accounts of experimentation bring to life ethnographic imaginations that re-describe field informants into epistemic partners (Holmes and Marcus, 2005), remediate the form of ethnography in the company of others (Rabinow, 2011), or trade in the traditional comparative project of anthropology for a collaborative one (Riles, 2015). The experimental can thus be a distinctive articulation of the empirical work of anthropologists in the field.

To invoke ethnographic experimentation does not necessarily signal a methodological rupture with conventional forms of ethnography. We see experimentation more as a mode of constructing anthropological problematizations (Rabinow, 2011) and a distinctive way to explore modes of engagement in the field.

We would like to learn about the network’s experiences of what, following John Law and Evelyn Ruppert (2013), we call “fieldwork devices”: arrangements that assemble the world in specific social and material patterns for the production of knowledge. We would like to focus on thoughtfully designed interventions through which particular relationships, material artefacts, digital (or other) infrastructures, fieldnotes, venues, meeting practices, etc. assemble the world and turn ethnography into a venue for experimentation.

In this workshop, we invite all scholars (anthropologists and others) who resort to the figure of experimentation in describing their own ethnographic fieldwork practice, to share their experiences.

Submission guidelines
We welcome two different types of contributions, ‘open formats and interventions’ and ‘short papers’. Please send us a 250 words abstract using the provided forms:

  1. Open formats and interventions: Hands-on experiments to try out or develop for the purposes of discussion and provocation, which take place at the workshop venue. We welcome proposals from both individuals and groups. Please state your material needs and/or spatial requirements. More information about the venue here:
    Open format submission form:
  1. Short papers: Reflections and nuanced meditations on the different ways and modalities of ethnographic experimentation. Participants should commit to send a short paper (3.000 – 4.000 words) by June 15th.
    Short paper submission form:

Deadline for submission: March 17th 2017 // Extended: Friday 24 March
Communication of acceptance: Mid-April 2017

More information:
If you have any questions, please contact us at
More information about the venue, Jardim Botânico Tropical, Lisbon


Organized by #Colleex + EBANO collective + ICS (ULisboa)
A workshop supported by European Association of Social Anthropologist (EASA).


Eeva Berglund, Aalto University

Francesca De Luca, ICS, ULisboa + EBANO

Adolfo Estalella, Spanish National Scientific Council

Anna Lisa Ramella, Locating Media, University of Siegen

Chiara Pussetti, ICS, ULisboa + EBANO

Tomás Sánchez Criado, MCTS, TU Munich

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