Ethnography in Canada / Events

Ethnography in Canada 2016 Conference – Call for Proposals (Deadline Extended)

Ethnography in Canada 2016 - Call for Proposals

Pelase note that the deadline for proposal submissions has been extended until February 5, 2016.

The Ethnography in Canada hub and the Ethnography Lab are proud to announce the inaugural Ethnography in Canada conference, to be held on April 15, 2016. The conference aims to showcase ethnographic work being conducted in Canada and foster a critical discussion of what ethnography in and of Canada is today. What forms is ethnographic work currently taking, within and outside academia? How do ethnographers conceptualize “Canada,” and what are the key questions informing ethnographic endeavours in this space? While ethnography has long been associated with the discipline of anthropology, the purpose of this conference is to enrich learning and collaborative understandings across disciplines and amongst academic and non-academic parties alike as to the transformation of ethnographic practice today.

The conference day will consist of three traditional panels and roundtables, followed by an afternoon of breakout sessions amongst all participants (presenters and attendees alike) and an evening for further networking and discussion. It will be held at the Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Toronto. This is the first conference of its kind to foster critical interdisciplinary discussion about ethnography in Canada.

We invite 15-minute papers and expressions of interest in roundtable participation around the following themes:

Barriers to ethnography in Canada: Institutions, gatekeepers, communities, and personal limits
Barriers to acquiring funding, institutional support, ethical approval, and access, characterize many Canadian fieldwork experiences. Studying or advocating for powerful, vulnerable, or politically aspirant social groups – combined with the politics of home and belonging – also figure into this set of challenges. This theme aims to broach these topics in an open and collaborative setting.

Querying “Canada” as an object, field, and space of study
Ethnographers encounter Canada on several levels, be it as a nation-state studied from a number of standpoints, as a disciplinary niche with its own politics, or as a more ambient territory and social milieu of study. This theme addresses what it means to be a “Canadianist” in the context of ongoing settler colonialism, the centrality of indigeneity in ethnography’s history and present, and the complex status which Canadian nationality, identity, and territoriality hold for settlers, Indigenous people, visitors, and migrants.

Ethnographic methods as shaped by Canadian contexts
Ethnographic methods are continually changing, variously involving design thinking, business contexts, performance studies, applied work, and sensory or experimental methods. This theme addresses how the particular contextual challenges of ethnography in Canada afford new modes and topics of ethnographic inquiry.

The confirmed keynote speaker is Monica Heller, professor at OISE and the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Toronto.

Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to by February 5, 2016.

Individual presentation abstracts should be no more than 250 words. For expressions of interest in roundtable participation, please indicate the topics of interest to you from the above list and your expertise in the area. We ask that each abstract or expression of interest for roundtable participation be accompanied by a short description of your background (150 words).

Ethnography in Canada 2016 is organized by graduate students and faculty of the Ethnography in Canada hub of the Ethnography Lab in the Anthropology Department of the University of Toronto. Seed funding has been provided by the Ethnography Lab and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.

Download the Call for Proposals as a PDF:

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