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Michael B. Amoruso (Section 01)
(Offered as ANTH 208 and REL 129) Ethnography refers to both a set of research methods and a genre of scholarly writing about living people. In this course, we will read influential ethnographies of religious communities, as well as conduct ethnographic research on and writing about local communities ourselves. We will begin with a close reading of a classic work in the field. This will help us get a sense of what ethnography is and better understand its place in the study of religion. Then we will engage in a series of exercises to learn essential ethnographic methods and practice writing fieldnotes and ethnographic narrative. As the semester progresses, students will propose and conduct sustained fieldwork projects on local religious communities, which they will synthesize in ethnographic narratives that they will workshop with the instructor and their peers. By the end of the course, students will have substantial experience in ethnographic research and writing, as well as a nuanced understanding of the challenges and ethics of engaging in both.
Spring semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Amoruso.