Workshop with Dr Tomasz Rakowski, University of Warsaw: Collaborative and Experimental Ethnography: Uncovering alternative social histories through fieldwork

workshop 7 may

Convener: Dr Nicolette Makovicky, REES

Speaker: Dr Tomasz Rakowski (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw)

The aim of this workshop is to familiarize students with novel methodological approaches in ethnography, and present candidates with examples of and the advantages of ways of making fieldwork a collaborative experience for all participants. It is relevant for students planning to undertake fieldwork and interviews over the summer break, and will be open to students from REES and other SIAS units, as well as ISCA.

In the first part of the workshop, Dr Rakowski will present how experimental ethnographic research involving social artists, community artists, and ethnographers has uncovered unrecognized, alternative social histories and social processes in the field. Working with village-rooted and workers-culture communities in Poland, he reveals how such undiscovered and absent elements of Polish social history, which were for decades kept locked-in and masked under the ongoing conflicts of forms and hierarchies of knowledge. He relates such elements of social history to cultural mechanisms which are embedded in the everyday, seen from below, and triggered by the experiences of modernization and post-socialist transformation.

In the second part of the workshop, there will be an open discussion session based on the presentation and a chance for students to discuss the ways in which the ideas and methods may be applied to their own projects.

Please email to register your interest. Please include what course you are on and a one-line description of your research.

Literature and other materials:

Aretxaga B. 2003 Maddening States, “Annual Review of Anthropology”, Vol. 32, pp.393-410

Buchowski M. 2006. The Specter of Orientalism in Europe. From Exotic Other to Stigmatized Brother.,  “Anthropological Quarterly” 3 (79).

Clifford J., Notes on Field Notes [w:] red. R. Sanjek, Fieldnotes. The Makings of Anthropology, London 1990. 

Rakowski, T., Rożek P., 2013, Elżbieta Szewczyk, film 16’,  Warszawa: IKP UW.  

Rakowski T. 2016 Hunters, Gatherers, and Practitioners of Powerlessness. An Ethnography of the Degraded in Postsocialist Poland, Translated from Polish by Søren Gauger, New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016, pp. 18-27.

*Rakowski, T. 2017, Ethnography and Art Experiments in Rural Poland. Beyond the Culture of Shaming: Coevalness, the Inward Turn, and Proto-sociology, “Second Texts”, special issue, no. 1.

*Rakowski T. 2018 A Cultural Cyclotron: Ethnography, art experiments and a challenge of moving towards the collaborative in Rural Poland. In Experimental Collaborations. Ethnography Through Fieldwork Devices, eds. T. S. Criado, A. Estalella, New York, London, Berghahn Books.

Rogalska A. Broniów Song, film, 6’, Warszawa: MSN.

Robbins J. 2013 Beyond the suffering subject: Toward an anthropology of the good, “Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute”, 19(3).