Digital Ethnography: How to do ethnographic research online

Any researcher whose fieldwork/ contact with sources outside Switzerland is currently negatively affected by the Covid pandemic is warmly invited to attend this Zoom workshop organized via the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, with invited experts Zoë Glatt and Daniel Miller.

Datum: 29. Januar 2021
Zeit: 14.00 Uhr bis 18.00 Uhr
Ort: via Zoom

Workshop Content
Digital Ethnography has become widely discussed during the Covid 19-Pandemic. The inclusion of digital technologies in fieldwork has become an urgent question for many anthropologists who were forced to discontinue their fieldwork. For the last two decades, most anthropologists have in some ways included digital spaces and technologies – like mobile phones, Twitter, or Facebook, among many others – into their research to conduct pre-fieldwork research or to communicate and stay in contact with their interlocutors. However, how would it be to do ethnographic research solely online and to acknowledge the online research as an equivalent part of one’s research field and not merely as a supplementary method? How do we define the field? How do we build rapport with participants we meet online? Which ethical questions arise? Which techniques must be taken into account (e.g., for storing digital data like Twitter posts)? How do we defend the online research approach as being ethnographic?

This workshop’s aim is twofold. On the one hand, the invited experts - Zoë Glatt (The London School of Economics and Political Science) and Daniel Miller (University College London) - will provide a short introduction into Digital Ethnography and give insights into their research projects. On the other hand, this workshop offers a space to discuss practical research problems and questions anthropologists and other researchers applying qualitative methods encounter when doing research online (e.g., how the research can be continued online). We welcome the submission of discussion topics before the workshop. Ultimately, this interactive workshop allows participants to get familiar with the myriad uses of digital research techniques and discuss specific challenges and questions in one’s research field.

How to Apply for Participation:
Please apply by sending an e-mail with the heading "Digital Ethnography" to (the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences main contact address) by January 21st, 2021 - the earlier, the better. To make the workshop as fruitful as possible to all participants, the number of participants is limited to 30 people - researchers from the University of Lucerne are given preferred entry.

Preparatory Reading: 
Once your participation is confirmed via Please read the texts made available via SWITCHdrive as recommended on the workshop's preparatory reading list. In addition, we highly recommend the extensive reading list (Google Doc managed by Zoë Glatt) to which you can add your own recommendations.

Nicole Ahoya, MA and MLaw
Laura Preissler, MA
Both are doctoral students at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and members of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSL) - the entity co-organizing and funding the workshop. 

Video Podcasts of Expert Talks
The talks by Zoë Glatt and Daniel Miller are available for viewing on the University of Lucerne's SWITCHtube channel