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Supervised Field Study

Page history last edited by BJ Eib 8 years, 7 months ago

Phillip Vanini, MA in Intercultural & International Communications, Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University

The scope of this assignment is to narrate and reflect on your fieldwork. Some examples of the possibilities available to you follow below.

An autoethnographic essay: for this paper-based option you ought to reflect on selected aspects of your travel, day after day, activity after activity. This essay could be literally an intellectual and emotional dumping ground for all your thoughts, stories, and feelings. You would then "write it all up" in the end, and turn it in. No maximum or minimum length is specified in advance. Recommended for: exquisite, introspective writers.

• A visual documentary or short feature film: using still or moving pictures you can chronicle your fieldwork experiences in a visual format. Like you would do for an autoethnographic field journal, the camera becomes your receptacle of all you experience. You would then turn in a collection of images accompanied by extensive captions, or a film in documentary style or short feature style. Recommended for: those who have professional skill in visual composition and/or performance.

• A blog: mastering the art of blogging in this context means combining the power of pen(wo)manship with the capabilities of hypertext. A blog can be an individual undertaking or even a collective effort. You'd need to secure your own space on the web using a platform like http://wordpress.org/ Recommended for: tekkies and dwellers of the blogosphere.

• A feature journalistic piece: ever dreamed of having your own travel column in a magazine or newspaper? This is your chance to get it rolling. Find an audience, find the right medium, and write for them. Anything from a local lifestyle magazine, to a national glossy, to Canadian Geographic is up for grabs. Recommended for: those with journalistic sensitivity.

• A media and/or material culture festival: encountering cultures means encountering sensations. From the sounds of the street and music, to the sights of popular and traditional culture, from the tastes of local foods, to the smells of alleyways, from the textures of saris to the kinesthetic affect of crossing a busy intersection, memories of travel evokes communities of feeling and help build shared cultural perspectives. To share any or all of these sensations you could organize a festival in your community and invite others to participate, share, or simply take it all in. You could feature material you yourself have created and/or materials (like Bollywood movies or Bhangra music!) others have created. Recommended for: planners, organizers, and coordinators who work best in teams (yes, you can work in teams of classmates if you wish).

• A traditional but reflexive analytical ethnographic paper: utilizing your academic savoir faire, inherited from 620, 621, write up an ethnographic paper in the style and format demanded by a peer-reviewed journal of your choice. Recommended for: academic writing aficionados with a PhD in mind.

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