Theorizing Ethnography: Concept, Context, Critique

A Book Series with Routledge Anthropology
Paul Boyce, Elisabeth L. Engebretsen, EJ Gonzalez-Polledo and Silvia Posocco Editors

The Theorizing Ethnography book series seeks to reorient ethnographic engagements across disciplines, methods and ways of knowing. By focusing on ethnography as a point of tension between abstract thinking and situated life-worlds the series conceives of ethnographic method as an analytical form that is always partial, open-ended and epistemologically querying. In these terms the series seeks to promote ethnographic work that opens new questions about the relation between context and critique.

In particular the series locates ethnography as a method always-already out-contextualized by its own modes of engagement. The objects of ethnographic knowledge are typically never settled, but undone within the context of fieldwork engagements. This may be especially so as ethnographers revisit and re-conceive their research sites in memory and practice over time, revealing the continuing complexities of every-day life-worlds. Given this, the series invites ethnographic explorations that follow the emergence of subjectivities, desires, relations and aspirations in on-going attentiveness.

Against this background ‘Theorizing Ethnography’ employs ‘concept’, ‘context’ and ‘critique’ as devices to stimulate creative ethnographic thinking that transects lines of analysis and location. The series aims to promote work that reaches beyond academic, political and life-world divisions, reconfiguring analytical norms and conventions. The aim is to fashion novel forms of rapprochement and entanglement within ethnographic projects, engendering unexpected configurations at different scales of analysis. As such the series seeks to foster contributions from across socially and critically engaged fields of practice.

Possible themes, topics and areas include:

  • The politics of knowledge, cultures of classification, and borders of being
  • Traffic in situated forms of knowledge and meta-theory
  • Nature-cultures, emergent ecologies, and interspecies thinking
  • New materialisms and infrastructures
  • Relations, sedimentation, emergence
  • Life and death; heritages and futures
  • Queer, feminist, postcolonial and otherwise critical ethnographies

‘Theorizing Ethnography: Concept, Context, Critique’ welcomes proposals for single-authored and multi-authored full-length monographs, as well as high quality edited volumes of disciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary resonance.

Editorial Board (currently under construction)

  • Jane Cowan, Department of Anthropology, Sussex University
  • Dana-Ain Davis, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York
  • Aniruddha (Ani) Dutta,  Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa
  • Thomas Hendriks, Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa, KU Leuven
  • Cymene Howe, Department of Anthropology, Rice University
  • Christine M. Jacobsen, Centre for Women’s and Gender Research, University of Bergen
  • Mark Johnson, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Martin F. Manalansan IV, Department of Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Henrietta Moore, Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL
  • Stacy Pigg, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
  • Hadley Z Renkin, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University
  • Antu Sorainen, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Arts Studies, University of Helsinki
  • Kathleen Stewart, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin


**Image credit: Roy Wagner (1986) – An Octahedral Model of the Habu. Symbols that Stand for Themselves, p.77.