DERC’s February 2023 Summer School

October 25, 2022

Digital Ethnography Fieldwork and Analysis: Studying hybrid contexts of human+ non-human+ more-than-human entanglements

Summer School February 20-24, 2023
+ Digital Ethnography Research Symposium, February 27, 2023
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (in person)
application portal for Summer School is now closed. Application review begins November 28, 2022

Overview of the February 27, 2023 Research Symposium: Information forthcoming. Participants accepted into the symposium will be contacted.

Overview of the February 20-24, 2023 Summer School:

This immersive Summer School builds participants’ skills in methods for close level observation and documentation during fieldwork involving multiple entities and situations, dealing with emergent ethical challenges, and creatively testing different methods for data/discourse/material analysis.

Two field sites have been selected for participants to engage in fieldwork exercises. The sites feature distinctive complexities of fieldwork in public spaces, in contexts of data- and digital-saturation, and involvement of multiple human and nonhuman or more than human elements.  

The experience will enable participants to connect and work with other researchers from around the world, and build a strong community of practice that includes the world-leading experts from RMIT’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre. Course features keynotes from former DERC Directors, plenary Q&A with social media ethnographic experts, and an optional symposium for participants to present their research.

Primary course facilitators: Professor Annette Markham and Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth

Digital transformations and technologies have potentially profound impacts, but can be challenging to observe and analyze due to varying degrees of visibility and invisibility. How might we attune ethical, playful, creative and critical methods that acknowledge complex layerings of visible and invisible technologies and histories? What techniques help researchers get at the granularity of sensory, material, social and digital overlays and practices, particularly when the focus involves multiple human, non-human, and more than human participants?

Through in-class lectures, workshops, and fieldwork, experts will be providing guidance and training in core methods and tools. Additionally, participants gain insights and experience in:

  • Using best practices to deal with ethical challenges of collecting data in public spaces
  • Adding visual, sensory, and audio data to more traditional field diaries
  • Managing both too much and not enough data
  • Generating analytic complexity through situational mapping
  • Building credibility through reflexive practices
  • Conducting fieldwork and analysis in small teams and presenting ‘in progress’ findings to stakeholders

While the course is especially useful for PhD students in early stages of their program, researchers at any stage may benefit from this immersive Summer School. This course is open to exceptional students at Masters level, or early career researchers who have already completed their doctorate. You do not need any prior experience in ethnography, digital ethnography, or fieldwork to participate. Complete bibliography (reading list) will be provided and all materials should be read in advance of attendance.

Application portal now closed. Learn more and see the work-in-progress schedule here