Invitation to join the NCA Ethnography Division's virtual town hall meeting

David Boromisza-Habashi dbh at COLORADO.EDU
Sat Oct 3 07:12:58 UTC 2009


1st Town Hall Forum: Ethnography Division Virtual Town Hall Forum:
Collective Reflections on “5 Years Out”

When the NCA Vice President asked Divisions to propose panels about
where their area might be in 5 years (2014, NCA’s 100th year), most
responded with the usual roundtables and distinguished panels. The
Ethnography Division did not.

I am pleased to convene a “virtual town-hall forum” to reflect on our
contributions and directions five years out. We are using an
electronic format in order to give all of our members an opportunity
to participate. Our emphasis is on collective reflection and
experience; our hope is to articulate a rich and multi-voiced vision
of/by the Division.

To this end, we invite all Division members to submit their
reflections and to join in digital conversations about the Division’s
future. You can submit not only written commentary but Twitter
messages and video and audio clips as well – whatever works to make
your point. In addition, I encourage you to comment on others’ posts.
Here are ways to participate:

1. Post a blog entry to this site and/or provide a link to relevant
online materials, quote from your own work or lectures or embed audio
or video files in your blog posts.

2. Post a video to our YouTube Channel ( You
might do a soliloquy, a mini-lecture, a Skype conversation with
another Ethnography Division member, or something even more creative
that addresses the questions below.

3. If you prefer to Twitter, please preface your message with the tag #Ethno5.

I will compile all responses for interactive viewing and response at
the scheduled conference session on Thursday, Nov. 12, 12:30-1:45 in
the Hilton Chicago/Waldorf Room.

Through this virtual town-hall forum, we anticipate that a variety of
perspectives, issues, and people will come together in response to the
questions posed by the NCA First Vice President as well as to those
questions that emerge from our conversations.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me. I look forward to your

Patty Sotirin

Chair, Ethnography Division

First Vice President’s questions:

1) What is the historical development of your area (division, section,
caucus) in the discipline and at NCA?

2) What are the major themes and contributions of your area over its
history? What is the state of the art?

3) Where is your area headed? What do you want to accomplish by NCA’s

4) What are the greatest resources you bring to the discipline and
what are the challenges to meeting your goals?

5) What are your greatest contributions to communities inside and
outside of the academy? Where does and where can your area make a

Along with the questions posed by the First Vice President, feel free
to address other topics such as:

    * The vision and mission of the Division from 1999 to 2014
    * Methodological innovations in Ethnography
    * Pedagogical practices responding to shifts in authority, the
affective experience of learning and teaching, and innovative shifts
in theories and methods
    * The relation of ethnographic research to the challenges of other
research practices and perspectives in Communication
    * Spirituality in ethnographic practice and as a focus of ethnographic study
    * The performative turn in ethnography and Communication studies
more generally
    * New challenges to ethnographic, autoethnographic, and digital
ethnographic study by Institutional Review Boards and the tightening
of permission/consent requirements
    * The future of autoethnography, critical ethnography, performance
ethnography, ethnopoetics, ethnojournalism: how do these approaches
contribute to ethnographic practice and theory in Communication over
the 5 years?
    * The need for and development of applied ethnographic research
and its contribution to applied communication research
    * Social justice as a paradigm for ethnographic research
    * The challenges of postcolonial critiques for revising the
traditions and refashioning future presumptions and practices
    * Responsiveness to race, class, gender, sexuality, disability,
age, and other facets of the identity complex
    * Digital ethnography now and 5 years out: what are the promises and issues?
    * The role of ethnographic software in data collection,
management, analysis, and presentation

Feel free to engage in these scholarly conversations!


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