As a political and economic philosophy, neoliberalism has been used to reshape schools and universities, making them far more responsive to the pressures of the market. The principles associated with neoliberalism have also extended to programmes for urban economic development, particularly with respect to the largescale gentrification of neighbourhoods rendering them amenable to investments aimed at creating spaces attractive to white, middle-and-upper class consumers. In this article, I discuss how universities themselves have come to play a significant role as urban developers and investors, promoting commercial retail development and building upscale housing in neighbourhoods adjacent to their campuses. My entry point into this discussion is through describing an ethnographic methods class I taught in 2003, whereby students carried out collaborative research in the African-American neighbourhood surrounding Temple University's main campus in Philadelphia. As a result of their work, we produced a neighbourhood newspaper that sought to disrupt the commonplace assumptions about 'rescuing' the neighbourhood from what was presented as an inexorable spiral of decline; rather, our work showed that actions taken by the university, itself, had helped to produce the very symptoms of decline that the new development project now purported to remedy.
Universities and neoliberal models of urban development: using ethnographic fieldwork to understand the 'Death and Rebirth of North Central Philadelphia'
Susan Brin Hyatt
Anti-racist teaching, student ethnography and the multiracial model of Islam
My Ethnography of the University (EUI) course 'Muslims in America' introduces undergraduate students to the racialisation of Islam and Muslims in the U.S. at large, and in the University in particular. In this article, I describe how an anti-racist pedagogy coupled with student ethnographic research can yield a rich learning process. Beginning with one of the key debates in the scholarship on Muslims in the United States, I introduce students to the productive ways in which a multiracial history of American Islam can inform their ethnographic research. Additionally, I elaborate the potential for student research to transform university policy. The University offers a valuable ethno- graphic site for the critical study of the history and place of Muslims in U.S. society, politics and culture.
Classifying the Natives in Early Modern Ethnographies
Henry Lord's A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630)
Amrita Sen and Jyotsna G. Singh
This article examines the politics and rhetorics of early modern ethnography via Henry Lord's famous treatise A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630). Lord, a chaplain with the East India Company, attempted to classify Indian religious and caste identities—particularly those of the Banians—at a time when England's trading fortunes in India were still tenuous, though promising. Turning to the Shaster which he understands as the Banian Bible, Lord offers his readers a glimpse into Hindu mythologies—stories of genesis and the flood—which result in the creation of the four Indian castes. Understood in terms of humoral, psychological, and moral taxonomies these castes fall within emergent proto-racial hierarchies. Simultaneously, the journeys of the four brothers—Brammon, Cuttery, Shuddery, and Wyse—progenitors of their respective castes reenact familiar tropes of European travel writing combining the logic of profit with the “discovery” of hitherto unclaimed lands and erotic bodies.
Examining the university: EUI at the confluence of student research, institutional critique, pedagogical community-building and technological change
Timothy Reese Cain
This concluding contribution to the special issue on the Ethnography of the University Initiative based at the University of Illinois locates the project at the intersections of several of the main currents in modern higher education: the push for undergraduate research, calls for critical inquiry into higher education, an interest in pedagogical communities and excitement over technological innovation. It further identifies the challenges facing EUI as it enters its second decade.
The ethnographic negative
Capturing the impress of boredom and inactivity
, and ultimately, nothing to do. This claim to be “doing nothing” cuts against an ethnographic sensibility. As the craft of participant observation has shown time and again, people cannot help but be engaged in doing something. Sitting, pacing, or
Towards Critical Analytical Auto-Ethnography
Global Pandemic and Migrant Women (Im)mobilities in Northern Ireland
The global pandemic has affected the process of ethnographic fieldwork, bringing about a sudden shift in relationships with the Other and with the social world. The socially distanced world has provided us with a new context for our research
Archaeology and Ethnographic Collections
Disentangling Provenance, Provenience, and Context in Vanuatu Assemblages
James L. Flexner
labelled “ethnography” or “ethnology” are equally a valuable source of information for understanding the past (e.g., Byrne et al. 2011 ; Harrison et al. 2013 ). Below I use the more contemporary term “ethnography” to refer to such collections, though both
Reinventing the university: EUI as writing initiative
This article reports on the multi-year collaboration between the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) at the University of Illinois and the University's Rhetoric Program, a required first-year writing course. I argue that this collaboration was successful in large part because the goals of writing programmes in American higher education settings – teaching the process of research, inviting students to see themselves as producers of knowledge and fostering collaboration between peers – are highly consonant with principles of EUI. Indeed, my own history with EUI reflects the parallel commitment of Writing Studies and the methods and goals of EUI. I suggest that EUI can serve as a powerful model for universities if they seek to place undergraduate student research writing at the core of their mission.
Medical Ethnography over Time
Penetrating “the fog of health” in a Nigerian community, 1970–2017
Medical ethnography, I suggest, is more about the health of the public than about public health, but the experience of the public's health is enveloped, for Nigerian and expatriate practitioners alike, in a ‘fog’ which sorely limits their
Towards an Ethnography of Crisis
The Investigation of Refugees’ Mental Distress
This article examines how ethnographic practice can be applied to, and is altered by, the study of uncertain and not fully accessible experiences ( Stevenson 2014 ). The analysis focusses on issues of positionality and intersubjectivity in the