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.
At the same time, we recognize the learning and unlearning of official and unofficial knowledge at institutional sites such as schools, colleges, universities, and within the military.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Michael Lecker (email@example.com), and Marcos Moldes (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline for submissions is November 15th, 2014.
PRE-CONSTITUTED PANELS: Pre-constituted panels allow a team of 3-4 individuals to present their research, work, and/or experiences, leaving 30-45 minutes of the session for questions and discussion. Panels should include 3-4 participants. Proposals for pre-constituted panels should include: the title of the panel; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the panel organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of all panelists, and a chair and/or discussant; a description of the panel’s topic (<500 words); and abstracts for each presentation (<150 words). Pre-constituted panels are preferred to individual paper submissions.
INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Successful papers will reach several constituencies of the organization and will connect analysis to social, political, economic, or ethical questions. Proposals for papers should include: the title of the paper; the name, title, affiliation, and email address of the author; and an abstract of the 20 minute paper (<500 words). Pre-constituted panels are recommended over individual paper submissions, though we welcome both.
ROUNDTABLES: Roundtables allow a group of participants to convene with the goal of generating discussion around a shared concern. In contrast to panels, roundtables typically involve shorter position or dialogue statements (5-10 minutes) in response to questions distributed in advance by the organizer. The majority of roundtable sessions should be devoted to discussion. Roundtables are limited to no more than five participants, including the organizer. We encourage roundtables involving participants from different institutions, centers, and organizations. Proposals for roundtables should include: the title of the roundtable; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the roundtable organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of the proposed roundtable participants; and a description of the position statements, questions, or debates that will be under discussion (<500 words).
PRAXIS SESSIONS: Praxis sessions allow a facilitator or facilitating team to set an agenda, pose opening questions, and/or organize hands-on participant activities, collaborations, or skill-shares. Successful praxis sessions will be organized around a specific objective, productively engage a cultural studies audience, and orient itself towards participants with minimal knowledge of the subject matter. Sessions organized around the development of ongoing creative, artistic, and activist projects are highly encouraged. The facilitator or team is responsible for framing the session, gathering responses and results from participants, helping everyone digest them, and (where applicable) suggesting possible fora for extending the discussion. Proposals for praxis sessions should include: the title of the session; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the (lead) facilitator and of any co-facilitators; a brief statement explaining the session’s connection to the conference theme and describing the activities to be undertaken (<500 words).