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.

The Ethnographic Café Organizing Team: 

Ashley Mears, Ekedi Mpondo-Dika, Loïc Wacquant, Dilan Eren, and Elif Birced

Meeting ID: 977 8649 9870

Passcode: 1234

Friday, May 12, 12-1.30 pm (PT)

Ethnographic Café Special Panel: Emotions in Fieldwork*

*See recommended readings here.

Watch the recording here! (Passcode: 6mnBsE3^)

This panel asks both how emotional processes can be studied ethnographically and what emotions come up in the course of doing fieldwork. We will look at the range of emotions which arise in fieldwork, from fear and despair to elation, from frustration with research participants to deep attachment. How do these emotional experiences shape our ability to endure in the field and do good work? How do we manage and record them? Given the interactional nature of emotion, how do we properly account for our own feelings while studying those of our research participants?

Arlie Russell Hochschild, is an emerita sociologist at UC Berkeley who has long been interested in the sociology of emotions. Her books include The Managed Heart, Strangers in Their Own Land, The Second Shift and a collection of essays called So How’s the Family. She’s currently finishing a book to becalled Left Behind: pride, shame and race in an Appalachian town

Erika Summers-Effler is Associate Professor of Sociology at Notre-Dame. Her work focuses on the micro dynamics of persistence and social change. She is the author of Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes: Emotional Rhythms in Social Movement Groups (2010). She has written methodological articles on how to attend to emotion in fieldwork and more recently on the implications of mirror neurons for ethnographic work (with Justin Van Ness). Her current book project is titled Fishing in Healing Waters: Engaging Emotions, Bodies, and Community in Fishing Programs for Healing from Trauma.

Ana Villarreal is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of the sociology of emotions, urban inequality, violence, and drugs with a regional emphasis on Latin America. Her book The Two Faces of Fear: Violence and Inequality in the Mexican Metropolis is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Tim Black is professor of sociology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author three award winning books: When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets(Pantheon 2009); On Becoming a Teen Mom: Life Before Pregnancy, with Mary Erdmans, (California 2015), and It’s a Setup: Fathering from the Social and Economic Margins, with Sky Keyes (Oxford2021). Black is currently working on two books: a study of reenteering citizens from an alternative incarceration facility in Cleveland, and a follow up book to his first, now an ethnographic study of 33 years.