Ethnographic Café

The Ethnographic Café is a place for ethnographers to meet across disciplines, generations, and countries. We gather to talk about all things ethnographic, from history, design, and method to analysis, writing and dissemination.


We meet monthly on Zoom to discuss a recently published ethnography with its author (see our schedule of events). We also convene periodically for special thematic sessions around a salient topic in the practice of ethnography.


We continue the online conversation through short photographic essays picturing the field, video interviews of ethnographers sharing the nitty-gritty of their fieldwork, reading recommendations contributed by the community, and through a directory that will help ethnographers with shared interests to find each other.


We aim to stimulate and support the work of a new generation of ethnographers, especially doctoral students, postdocs, and junior faculty, and we hope you will join us in this endeavor.

Meeting ID: 977 8649 9870

Passcode: 1234


Friday September 30, 12 – 1:30pm (PT)


Heba Gowayed

in conversation with Danilo Mandić


Refuge: How the State Shapes Human Potential

*Read the chapters here.


Heba Gowayed is the Moorman-Simon Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University.

Her research, which is global and comparative, examines how low-income people traverse social services, immigration laws, and their associated bureaucracies, while grappling with gender and racial inequalities. Her book Refuge is based on three years of fieldwork documenting the strikingly divergent journeys of Syrian families from similar economic and social backgrounds during their crucial first years of resettlement in the United States and Canada and asylum in Germany. Their experiences reveal that these destination countries are not saviors; they can deny newcomers’ potential by failing to recognize their abilities and invest in the tools they need to prosper.


Danilo Mandić is Associate Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Harvard University. His first book, Gangsters and Other Statesmen (2022), received awards from the Eastern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association. His second book, The Syrian Refugee Crisis: How Democracies and Autocracies Perpetrated Mass Displacement (2023), presents rare refugee data collected by a research team he led into fieldwork in five countries in the Middle East and Europe.


** ETHNOGRAPHERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, NOT EVEN YOUR FIELD NOTES **