Workshop on Perspectives: Ethnographic Research Methods for Activists (17-20 October, 2019) @ Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Structure and Objectives

The workshop explains what ethnographic research is and what kinds of things it can be useful for. The first two sessions will introduce ethnography as a research technique of anthropology. Then would be unpacked what is called ‘a point of view about points of view’. This discussion will depend on unpacking some previously distributed reading material, which participants will have to come having read beforehand. In the third session, the participants have to develop a small research project and apply the method on their own research question. The final session focuses on a small writing assignment where each participant will share their work with the rest of the group. The workshop can only admit twenty participants.

This workshop conducted over four days aims at:

Day 1 & 2 – Bringing ethnographic research techniques to people outside the university system/academia, especially those who work in the interventionist or activist mode. This requires engagement with some reading material on the first two days.

Day 3 – Constructing research questions and dummy research projects touching on issues like poverty, discrimination, misgovernance, conflict situations, etc. Bringing to the forefront, the elements of mutual dialogue, situational sensitivity, and understanding in furthering the work of activists.

Day 3 & 4 – Writing is an essential part of ethnographic research. Participants will write a short ethnography based on their pilot research on the previous days.

Who this workshop is for?

This workshop will be useful for activists, change agents, lawyers, development practitioners, and maybe even artists and design professionals.

About the Facilitator, Atreyee Majumder:

He’s a historical and political anthropologist with a focus on the impact of capitalism on space and time. His monograph Time, Space, and Capital in India: Longing and Belonging in an Urban-Industrial Hinterland (Routledge 2018) addresses the intersection of time, space and capital through an ethnography of public life in an urban-industrial hinterland in eastern India.His current research focuses on Vaishnavite devotional practices in North India.

He is currently Assistant Professor of liberal arts at Jindal University, Sonepat. He received his PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Yale University in 2014. He was recently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto (2016-18). Between December 2014 and May 2016, he taught at the School of Development at Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India. He has a law degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (2006), and practiced law and conducted legal research in New Delhi on questions of land, environment, water rights and indigeneity.

Dates and Venue: 17th to 20th October, 2019, Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh

Contribution towards Programs Costs: We hope that participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 4000/- towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all on-site workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop. Need-based partial waivers are available; as they have a very limited number of partial waivers, so, please apply for a waiver only if you really need it. Please do remember that there may be others who need it more than you.

Language: English (with Hindi translations)

How to reach: Please visit: Getting here

For any other info: WhatsApp or call Shashank: 889 422 7954 (between 10 am to 5 pm), and e-mail:

Kindly fill the application form here

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