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CFP: Ethnography in Cultural Studies, CSA 2015 Meeting

(Sep 15, 2014)

The Cultural Studies Association (CSA) Ethnography Working Group invites proposals to the CSA’s thirteenth annual meeting in Riverside, CA, May 21-24, 2015.

The Ethnography Working Group investigates how the ethnographic method can continue to shed light onto the field of Cultural Studies, as well discussing the practice of ethnographic research. We invite parties to submit proposals for papers or panels that employ the ethnographic method within the field of cultural studies, discussion panels debating best practices or contemporary issues, or workshops and skill-shares (praxis workshops). While we encourage proposals that match the theme, feel free to submit proposals that do not.

The Ethnographic Working Group looks to expand upon the CSA conference theme “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy” to examine both official and unofficial sites of teaching and learning. Cafés, subcultural spaces, bars, bathhouses, churches, performance spaces, protest sites, private homes, co-ops, Internet websites, and community centers all serve as sites of learning for both dominant and minority groups. Sometimes these spaces distribute material often unavailable to underserved populations. For example, bars and bathhouses distributed knowledge about and materials for safer sex during the AIDS crisis to counter the lack of official information. Community centers and churches have provided access to resource lists, workshops, facilitated conversations, pamphlets, therapeutic sessions, and much more.

We seek proposals that deal with these sites and how these spaces and activities spill out over the edges of their site into the larger social world. What is the role of researcher in these spaces? How is knowledge produced and distributed in these spaces? What are the relations between official and unofficial spaces of learning? What can the University and those working within the academy adapt from unofficial spaces with respect to community organizing, social justice initiatives as well as teaching and learning? Do these sites act as transformative or conservative forces? What is the impact of the learning or unlearning in these spaces? How do issues of controlling knowledge (access, production) play out? How do community politics play out in these spaces? How do they organize? Who is include and who is excluded? How do issues of ownership, founders, and newcomers play out in such spaces? What is the role of local, national, and global politics on these spaces? Can the happenings in these spaces amount to change? Can they alleviate inequalities? How does gentrification, the housing crisis, and policy affect such spaces?


Proposals from all areas and on all topics of relevance to cultural studies are welcome, and are not limited to proposals that critically and creatively engage this year's theme. All sessions run for 90 minutes.

Please send proposals or inquiries to Jodi Davis-Pacheco (jodidavis@fullerton.edu), Michael Lecker (mlecker@gmu.edu), and Marcos Moldes (marcos_moldes@sfu.ca). The deadline for submissions is November 15th, 2014.