Doing Fieldwork Abroad: Anthropology of the West
Prof. Michael Herzfeld
Few Chinese anthropological researchers have done fieldwork in Western countries. Yet a robust ethnographic literature on Western societies exists in English, French, German, Korean, and Japanese. An anthropological tradition that is too hermetically focused on its “home” cultural traditions cannot achieve the comparative focus that is essential to producing useful theory. Our summer workshop will therefore focus on the reading and discussion of some important studies of such societies. Lectures, readings and films will be used to explore social and cultural diversity in a changing Europe, North America, and Australia. The field school will run from 23 through 26 August inclusive, and will use Shanghai as a laboratory for critically assessing Chinese representations of “Western culture.” Young scholars and Ph.D and M.A. students who are interested in doing fieldwork in the West, or who wish to expand their theoretical horizons in the spirit of this venture are warmly welcome to join us in this summer workshop. Those who have already done fieldwork in “Western” societies are especially welcome to share their experiences with us.
This summer school comprises three sections. For the first section, Prof. Michael Herzfeld from Harvard University will introduce some of the classic readings in this area and lead the discussion. For the second section, Prof. Herzfeld will share his fieldwork experience and some films on the European themes. There will then be a day devoted to the exploration of the “Western” dimensions of Shanghai. For the final section, those who have done fieldwork in the West will be invited to share their own fieldwork experiences in the light of the readings and discussions, and all will be asked to contribute to a discussion of the central question: “Is there such a thing as the West?”
Applicants must have mastered English before application, since English will be the language of instruction and discussion. For application, please submit a research or study proposal of around 1,000 words to Dr. Yu Hua at by 10 July, 2018. Please list your name, age, and home institution at the end of the proposal. We will select 20-25 applicants to join this workshop.
Applicants who receive the Letter of Acceptance on July 15th, 2018 will be responsible for their own accommodation and trips to Shanghai. The workshop will provide tea breaks and enough space and time for academic discussion. The tuition fee of 800 RMB must be transferred before July 20th to secure participation. The tuition fee for students is 400 RMB per person. Students need to present their valid student card on site.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Institute of Linguistics
Shanghai International Studies University