How do we expand the ways we learn and create? How do we communicate scholarship more diversely and effectively? How do we use what we learn to transform communities? We will think through the emerging forms scholarly research is taking in the humanities and social sciences, and will outline institutional interventions related to extra-textual genres of research practice and dissemination. Using the Center for Experimental Ethnography as an example, we will show how institutional spaces that support multi-modal research practices transform how we conduct research, how we generate and disseminate knowledge, how we train students, and how we remain accountable to the communities in which we interact and through which our research circulates.
DEBORAH A. THOMAS is the R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology, and the Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of ‘Exceptional Violence, and Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica’. Thomas co-directed the documentary film ‘Bad Friday: Rastafari’ after Coral Gardens with John Jackson. She is the co-curator of a multi-media installation titled ‘Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston’.
JOHN L. JACKSON, JR. is Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Richard Perry University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of several books, including ‘Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem’ and ‘Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion’, co-written with Cora Daniels. He is currently part of the production team completing ‘Making Sweet Tea’ a story about black gay men in the American south.
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