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ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS SPRING 2016, Thursday, 9-12, Sage 5711
aka FIGURING OUT METHODS posted 28 January 2016
Professor Kim Fortun, x2199, Office hours: R 3-4 pm and by appt, Sage 5114

This course immerses you in and encourages experimentation with ethnographic research design, and is organized to help you develop a research proposal and begin ethnographic writing. It should help you think about your research goals, and about different ways that you can design and carry out an ethnographic project.

If you haven’t yet decided on a dissertation topic, you should select a trial topic that you will develop throughout the semester, and turn into a trial research proposal. Each week, you will begin produce a set of structured research sketches. These sketches will help you articulate a focus and direction for your research, and to contextualize it within both scholarly literatures, and within a particular historical period and political economy. Weekly sketches will also draw out the expertise and motivation that you can bring to the research at this point, and will help you recognize other types of expertise that you will need to develop as your research progresses. The sketches are designed to be returned to over the course of your research, watching them continually iterate should help you let your project evolve without loosing full sense of “it.”

Please post the sketches for each week in your wiki portfolio by Wednesday 9am prior to a Thursday class. This will allow me and the students assigned to be your peer reviewers time to read your sketches before the class in which they will be discussed. Please respect this schedule to enable the feedback process. Also please note that your role as a reviewer of other people’s work is important. In addition to helping the person whom you are reviewing, it will also hone your own analytic and research skills.

Your grade for the course will be based on the following percentages:
  • Weekly sketches 40%
  • Research proposal 30%
  • Proposal oral presentation 10%
  • Participation (including peer reviews) 20%

Learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
  • identify ethnographic research questions, and associated research material
  • identify scholarly literatures that contextualizes a research project
  • demonstrate proficiency in qualitative research proposal construction

Thursday, January 28
Thursday, February 4 Figuring Oneself

Sketch 1: Project Hopping (template) (project hopping slides)
Sketch 2: Habits, Neuroses, Talents
Sketch 3: Biographical Sketch, 2020
Sketch 4: Wish List, 2015
Sketch 7:Three Literatures, Thirty References + Short Annotations

Jakobson, Roman. "Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances," On Language.

Keller, Evelyn. "Dynamic Objectivity: Love, Power and Knowledge." Reflections on Gender and Science. Yale. p115-126.

Fortun, Kim. 2003. "Ethnography In Of As Open Systems,” Reviews in Anthropology 32/2: p171-190.
Thursday, February 11 (KF: Paris) Figuring a Project

Sketch 4: Project Definition
Sketch 5: Hierarchy of Research Questions
Sketch 6: Research Design Grid (research design grid slides)
Sketch99: Questioning a Text (template) (exemplary texts slides)

Fortun, Mike and Jeanette Simmonds, “Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in the Genomics Era: An Oral history and Ethnographic Project,” Proposal funded by the National Science Foundation, 2003.

Fortun, Kim (2007) 'Strategizing Transdisciplinarity: From Exposure Assessment to Exposure Analysis in the United States, Proposal funded by the National Science Foundation, 2007.
Thursday, February 18

Sketch: Historicizing a Project
Sketch: Structuring a Project
Sketch: Peopling a Project
Sketch: Hegemonic Backdrops
Sketch: Shifts in Sign Systems
Sketch: Core Categories

Please put slides here, with one for your hegemonic backdrop, one for a shift in sign systems, and one for core categories.

Fortun, Kim. “Figuring Out Ethnography
Thursday, February 25

- HASS drafts -

- see examples of most memos below as sections of the FortunsSimmonds and KFortun NSF grants you looked at earlier -

Sketch: Hierarchy of Research Questions (revised)
Sketch: Interview Questions
Sketch: Study Components
Sketch: Schedule of Activities
Sketch: 3 Field Sites
Sketch: Emerging Narratives (what you think is going on.)
Sketch: Methodological, Empirical, Theoretical and Practical Contributions

Fortun, Kim. “Scaling and Visualizing Multisited Ethnography

Marcus, George. ”Ethnography In/Out of the World System: The Emergence of Multisited Ethnography,” Annual Review of Anthropology.
Thursday, March 3 (class meeting Tuesday 6pm, Fortuns)

Sketch: Three Journals
Sketch: Three Abstracts
Thursday, March 10

Sketch: Mapping Subject Positions
Sketch: Charting Binaries
spring break
Thursday, March 24 Writing Toward Theory

Sketch27 Describing People to Make an Analytic Point
Sketch 28 Describing Places to Make an Analytic Point
Sketch29 Describing Practice to Make an Analytic Point
Sketch30 Describing Events to Make an Analytic Point
Sketch 31:Describing Organizations to Make and Analytic Point
Thursday, March 31 Imagining Data Analysis

Sketch: abstract
Sketch: draft overview
Sketch: draft background section (drawing on timeline)
Sketch: chapter summaries
Sketch: ethical conundrums
Sketch: “broad impact”
Sketch: cover mock-up
Thursday, April7 Research Ethics

Sketch: Ethical Conundrums
Sketch: Letter of Introduction to Interviewees
Sketch: IRB Proposal, with Informed Consent Form
Sketch: Circulations (amongst informants, other experts, policy makers)
Sketch: Political Implications
Thursday, April 14 Designing A Text

Sketch: Exemplary Texts
Sketch: Chapter Summaries
Thursday, April 21 (KF: Irvine)

Sketch: draft literature review (with bibliography)
Thursday, April 28

Proposal presentations

Sketch: Cover Mock Up
Sketch: Comparative Positioning (how your book will be different than others on similar topics)
Thursday, May 5**

Sketch: Future Plan of Study
Sketch: Seed Research
Sketch: Figuring Oneself