spiefAssembling, Mobilizing & Performing
17-19 October 2016
NTNU, Trondheim
SANT8004 PhD Course in Ethnographic Method

Professor Carla Dahl-Jørgensen

Arthur Mason, Rice U (arthur.mason@rice.edu) and Stefan Leins, U Zurich;
with Dominic Boyer, Rice U; Ainur Begim, Yale U;
Vidar Hepsø, NTNU; Lina Dib, Rice U.

This course offers critical appraisals of options for studying new interactions between risk and modernization as they relate to the production and dissemination of expert forecasting and technologies, as well as expertise, institutions, discourse and visualization, and the transmission of expert knowledge. We will focus on the ethnographic research cycle as it relates to (1) organization of scientific, consultant, and financial work; (2) production, commodification and dissemination of expert forecasting and technologies; (3) relationships of expertise to institutions, agenda setting, discourse and visualization; and (4) transmission of expert knowledge, including the social life of ideas that define what counts as knowledge.

For analytical purposes, we have separated these problems into four categories: (1) Assembling: data collection drawing on participant observation and apprenticeship methods with the aim of formulating an empirical characterization of internal practices of various forms of expert work; (2) Mobilizing: artefactual data collection consisting of gathering material- and digital-forms of expert knowledge and their deployment. Artefactual data are the end products of the internal practices of assembling, and these data represent integrated packages that capture expert activity of transforming information into knowledge purportedly exhibiting strategic value; (3) Performing: observation studies at events whereby expert work creates communities of interpretation around knowledge, placing emphasis on how different features of research and tools produced by expertise combine with real time interaction to define what counts as knowledge; (4) Curating: approaches to data management that aspire to create novel catalogues as well as forms of public attention and cross disciplinary access to the above data.

Researching experts is complicated because firms are subject to proprietary client relationships. Thus, we will engage in roundtable discussion about establishing protocols for data storage, sharing, and curation, building a framework to support open science and accessibility for future researchers while protecting confidentiality and security for proprietary stakeholders.

Course Schedule Hand-Out

Monday 17 – Wednesday 19, October 2016, NTNU, Trondheim
SANT8004 PhD Course in Ethnographic Method
The Post Discursive Turn: Assembling, Mobilizing, and Performing
Social anthropology – doctorate (Ph.D.)
Credits: 10.0 ECTS

Deadline for submission of essay: 1 January 2017