Ethnographic Fieldwork involves very particular challenges and dilemmas. How and what can we learn through our experiences and encounters “in the field”? How can we, as both researchers and human travelers, navigate the ethical, emotional, and epistemological complexities of doing research with and about people?
This course will provide you with a theoretical and practical toolbox for designing, conducting, and writing ethnographic research projects. We will explore various concepts and debates related to anthropological methods in the classroom at York, and then develop and apply specific research skills in the field. You will have the opportunity to design your own research project in close consultation with the instructor, and to conduct your own ethnographic fieldwork during an intensive four-week research trip to Athens, Greece.
Anthropology students – Successful completion of AP/ANTH 1110 OR AP/ANTH 1120 AND Successful completion of a minimum of one 2000-level Anthropology course Sociology students – Successful completion of AP/SOCI 2030 6.00 and AP/SOCI 2040 6.00
NOTE: If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact the course director, Othon Alexandrakis at email@example.com
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION:English
FORMAT: The course will be offered in the summer session only. Three weeks on York University campus, followed by four weeks in Athens, Greece.
PROGRAM FEE: $1200 – $1400 includes accommodations, Wi-Fi, visits, guides, entrance fees and two group dinners. (to be confirmed)
FUNDING: York University students are eligible for the York International Mobility Award (YIMA) – $500. We’re also looking to secure an additional $500 in funding from LA & PS. Check this space for updates…
Explore art, architecture, literature, history, or cuisine – on foot! This group brings visitors and local experts together to explore aspects of the city’s history plus current events. Big Olive will take groups as small as four people…
- Modernist Athens & Le Corbusier
- The Orientalist’s Walk
- Refugee Trails
- Secrets of the Lost River
- Greek Revival Walk
The Royal Garden was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838 and completed by 1840. It was designed by the German agronomist Frederick Schmidt who imported over 500 species of plants and a variety of animals including peacocks, ducks, and turtles. (see Wikipedia for more).
Many important social and political events have occurred in the garden. Anthropologists continue to look at this site with interest.
Click here for a virtual tour of the gardens.
Here are walking directions from Mets (where we’ll be staying) to one of the turtle ponds in the National Gardens. First student to snap a picture of the turtles this summer will get a prize!
The Benaki Museum, established and endowed in 1930 by Antonis Benakis in memory of his father Emmanuel Benakis, is housed in the Benakis family mansion in downtown Athens, Greece. The museum houses Greek works of art from the prehistorical to the modern times, an extensive collection of Asian art, hosts periodic exhibitions and maintains a state-of-the-art restoration and conservation workshop.(source: Wikipedia)
I am not strange. I am just not normal ~ Salvador Dali
3,987 coffees per month / 126 vodkas in the rain / 25 years in action
a brain hub. tribes and nations in creative disruption. trend setters and mind clusters cooperate in full time. BLOW UP!
Kolokotroni 57 (Monastiraki Station)
As Greeks continue to struggle under the troika austerity measures, a handful of individuals are managing ~ against all odds ~ to find and/or create new opportunities. Check out the following short doc:
“When anthropologists are interested in art, they are interested in what art can make of life. When they ask ‘What is art?’, they want to know what life is – or, more accurately, how life is lived, experienced and expressed. And when they enquire about what it is that artists do, they want to find out how their diverse creative pursuits are shaped by the specific cultural and social relations and practices which, at any given moment, make both art and life what they are. Art!” (Excerpt from “Art and Life” by Professor Pavel Büchler, available here)
The photograph above is part of Manolis Baboussis’ ”Greek Aesthetics” collection
Visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art online
Athens / Public Sphere / Philosophy ~ evoke images of ancient Greece, philosophers … paintings of pensive bearded men in flowing robes…
Today, new open spaces of idea exchange are popping up across the city around universities, squats, cafes, and especially online. Welcome to the age of the intellectual commons!
Check out Nomadic University (posts in both English and Greek):
Design is a key site of cultural production in contemporary society. Anthropologists engaged in this area of research consider a wide range of issues from the social life of concepts to the communication of “knowledge-pieces” and design heritage.
In the last few years ~ that is, in the wake of the financial crisis ~ Athenians have become very interested in design. Students interested in this area of research may undertake projects that explore the aesthetics of resistance, the re-imagination/reinterpretation of nationalist discourses, etc. etc.
On the left is a poster designed by George Triantafyllakos. Click on his name to visit his website. Following is a blurb about this (rather anthropological) piece:
Play: Playing a role. Living an experience outside but at the same time inside my mind. My mental status is augmented and, with it, my physical as well. I float beyond and above time and space in a deterministic world governed by interaction rules, subset of the reality. A world trying to eliminate reality’s chaos through “non-useful”, “non-productive” and “non-real” processes.
Other amazing Greek designers and design resources:
Sotos Anagnos: hypokondriak design
Hellenic Graphic Design: HEGRADE
Experiencing Food Like an Anthropologist!
From the market, through the kitchen and at the table, people negotiate their social and cultural lives, mediate relationships, plan, dream, and remember.
A good take on the modern Greek philosophy on food and eating:
While in Athens you can shop at the local supermarket, small fruit and vegetable stores, bakeries and ~ most exciting ~ at the weekly farmer’s market (just up the street from where you’ll be staying)! Here are some photos of the market:
Here are a few pictures of restaurants around Athens (there are more in the photos stacked to the right of this post):
You will also discover the amazing (free) fruit that grows along most streets in Athens (oranges, plums, figs, grapes, pomegranates…):