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Livestreamed on this page Friday 20 March from 9 a.m. EDT to 5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 6 a.m. PDT to 2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 13:00 GMT to 21:00 GMT (London).

Philadelphia, PA, United States
Friday 20 March 2015

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The Visual and Performative Ethnography Symposium at University of Pennsylvania

Friday 20 March 2015

The University of Pennsylvania presented The Visual and Performative Ethnography Symposium livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 20 March from 9 a.m. EDT to 5 p.m. EDT (New York) / 6 a.m. PDT to 2 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 13:00 GMT to 21:00 GMT (London). In Twitter, use hashtag #pivpe.

Join us as notable academics from across the United States generate a public conversation regarding visuality, performativity, ethnography, and 21st century multi-modal research. 

Regina Austin (UPenn), Herman Beavers (UPenn), Karen Beckman (UPenn), Ruth Behar (University of Michigan), Peter Biella (San Francisco State University), Kesha Fikes (The Center for Sensorial Bodywork and Movement Therapy), Kim Fortun (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Faye Ginsburg (NYU), John Jackson Jr. (UPenn), E. Patrick Johnson (Northwestern University), Annelise Riles (Cornell University), Jesse Shipley (Haverford College), Diana Taylor (New York University), Elmo Terry-Morgan (Brown University), Deborah Thomas (UPenn), Debra Vidali (Emory University)

Click here for the schedule of livestreaming events on Friday 20 March.

1:00-2:30         Panel II: Institutionalization and Interdisciplinarity: Where do we locate the visual and the performative within the academy?


How have scholars positioned in different parts of the academy attempted to institutionalize visual and performative work at their respective universities? What strategies have worked best? What methods were deployed to translate conceptual goals into concrete institutional and administrative support? To what extent have these initiatives been driven by curricular concerns and commitments? How have their respective institutional spaces changed over time, and what strategies allow for the most successful means of incorporating a wide array of faculty, graduate students, and undergrads into the Institute’s orbit? To what extent have “local communities” been engaged through these efforts?

Moderator: Herman Beavers (U Penn)

Diana Taylor, Hemi (New York U), Elmo Terry-Morgan, Rites and Reasons (Brown U), Faye Ginsburg, Center for Media, History and Culture (New York U)*, Annelise Riles, Anthropology and Law (Cornell U)


2:30-3:00         Intercession, Multi-Modality Workshop (Led by camra Penn: Sofia Chaparro, Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan)



Visual And Performative Ethnographic Research: New Directions In The Humanities, Social Sciences, And Law
Over the past twenty years, we have seen an “ethnographic turn” across a range of disciplines, not only within the humanities and social sciences, but also in professional schools, fine arts, and architecture. 

Whether in business, medicine, or law, photography, sculpture, or performance art, qualitative social science methods have become more common as scholars and practitioners seek insights into the everyday worlds and ideas of those with whom they work. At the same time, contemporary developments in technology—including inexpensive cameras, editing software, and internet platforms for sharing work—have made new representational techniques widely available and familiar, especially to younger generations now moving into academia. As a result, researchers and practitioners across a wide range of fields are relying on a combination of old and new technologies to advocate for and work with communities. At the same time, researchers are reexamining the relationships they build with these communities, openly discussing the public responsibilities of the University in the twenty-first century. 

These transformations have forced us to confront new questions: What tools for research and communication should we offer the next generation of PhD students? How are we thinking about what the digital age means for humanistic, social scientific, and professional inquiry and practice in today’s world?

This cross-school interdisciplinary symposium is designed to create a public conversation during which we deliberate several key questions raised by these trends: 

1) What the “ethnographic turn” means across the disciplines, and how do we think about “visuality” and “performativity” in relation to research generated ethnographically and in collaboration with communities?

2) What role are new technologies (both material and embodied) playing in the research process, and what kinds of archives do they create?

3) How might we institutionalize inter-disciplinary, multi-modal work within the academy in a way that collaborates with community organizations?

4) What standards and evaluative criteria can be established for this kind of work, and how can we translate this approach in a way that makes it legible to others when it comes time for doctoral students to enter the job market or for junior faculty to be promoted?

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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