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Ethnography and Design: Mutual Provocations is made possible through funding from the UC Office of the President, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and participating units across University of California campuses.
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Saturday, October 29 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Engaging with the Productive Dilemmas of Collaborative Research: Spotify as a Platform of Intercultural Dialogue

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The rise in cultural politics in Latin America and other parts of the world over the past few decades has generated productive debates over the politics of knowledge and representation, also highlighting many of the practical and ethical dilemmas of ethnographically engaging in, and writing about identity-based rights claims. Such dilemmas may also generate new conditions of possibility for politically engaged collaborative research: They offer an entry point for an ethnographic method that emphasizes modes of connection (Hankins 2014; Povinelli 2011); the potential of theoretical analyzes based on mutual dialogue and shared political commitment (Rappaport 2005; Speed 2006); and the “excess meaning” of history and practices that are often lost in translation across social difference (de la Cadena 2015). Rather than seeking to elide or overcome the dilemmas of collaborative research, such approaches ask us to be attuned to the difficult labor of embracing them. But they also raise new pedagogical challenges in designing and teaching ethnographic method. This workshop will explore such challenges by asking participants to collaboratively design research and pedagogical tools based on musical exchange.

This workshop will be carried out in two phases: In phase one, participants, working in groups of 4-5 members, will first individually select two songs from Spotify (one from a genre that best represents their “social type” and a second that best represents their personal taste, motivations, and desires), and then be asked to share their selections with the group. They will finish the session by collaboratively searching for and negotiating to select a genre/song that best represents their collective tastes and interests. Phase two will involve a discussion among all participants of the tensions that emerged in phase one, who will be asked to take such tensions as a point of reflection to consider how platforms such as Spotify might offer a critical analytical tool for both the field site and the classroom. The overall aim of the workshop is to experiment with different techniques that can provoke “affective and energetic” (Povinelli 2011) reflections that can be critically attuned to the productive dilemmas of politically committed collaborative research.

If possible, please bring a laptop with Spotify downloaded.

avatar for Amy Kennemore

Amy Kennemore

Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
Amy Kennemore received a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in 2012. Her Master’s thesis considered the political framework of plurinationalism in Bolivia through an examination of recent tensions between indigenous autonomy and... Read More →

Saturday October 29, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm PDT
MCC 201