General Call:
The Ethnography Working Group investigates how the ethnographic method can continue to shed light onto the field of Cultural Studies, as well as 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.

Theme Call:
The Ethnographic Working Group looks to expand upon the CSA conference theme “Culture in the Age of Mass Debt” to examine the question of emotional debt incurred during fieldwork and as part of ethnographic knowledge production. How are ethnographic studies inherently indebted projects? How do ethnographers work through the emotional debt incurred during fieldwork, particularly in autoethnographic field sites where responsibility to the community may go beyond the traditional researcher-participant relationship? Does the emotional labour that is part of ethnographic fieldwork differ from the affective labour of other methodologies and if so how can we begin to account for and acknowledge this in our work?

Concurrently we recognize that knowledge production involving individuals and/or communities incurs indebtedness in regards to feelings of obligation, reciprocity, emotion, and in some cases social justice. Autoethnography, feminist ethnography, queer ethnography, and other ethnographic interventions may bring with them their own set of indebtedness. How does this sense of indebtedness get expressed in the form of emotion and affects? What responsibility do we as researchers have to address these forms of debt in our research, writing and teaching? What is the relationship between the university as a site of knowledge production and the marginalized communities which are often the site in which institutions create knowledge? How can ethnographic approaches to reciprocity provide us examples of critical self-reflection and meaningful engagement with the communities in which we conduct our research (and sometimes live)?

For any questions, please contact Jodi Davis-Pacheco (, or Marcos Moldes (


Jodi Davis-Pacheco (

Michael Lecker (

Marcos Moldes (

The Ethnographic 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. As a working group, we are a resource for each other and those interested in ethnographic methods. We look to discuss and debate best ethics and practices, such as how to store and document research, navigate IRB, HSRB, and other institutional review boards, negotiate certain field sites, and conduct interviews.

We see the ethnographic research method as collaborative cultural work. The researcher and those researched are both participants in attempting to understand the cultural landscape laying before them. How does the presence of the researcher impact the communities we are investigating? In turn how do these communities shape our own understanding of what constitutes “research”?

We are interested in all type of ethnographic research such as: community-based ethnographies, auto-ethnographies, critical ethnography, feminist ethnography, and performative-ethnographies. Furthermore, the working group would like to explore creative and non-traditional approaches to the creation and dissemination of ethnographies in the field of Cultural Studies. The Ethnographic Working Group is open to new members who are invested or interested in exploring ethnographic methods. The group meets annually at the Cultural Studies Association Conference. We plan on hosting reading groups, roundtable discussions, and panels.

Join this working group!Vice-Chair: