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Ethnographic Walk

In July–August 2017, I was invited to be Guest Professor to teach a two-week intensive summer school programme entitled ‘Digital Living’ at Aarhus University. These are some notes and resources from my seminars, lectures, and workshops on an Ethnographic Walk. Please feel free to use with credits back to this page.


Ethnographic Walk Activity: (In)visible networks in everyday life

In groups of 5, station yourselves in one spot on campus. Observe your surroundings and take notes on the groups of people and types of activity unfolding at the location. Using only visual analysis, identify the communities that exist in that spot on campus. Are these networks visible or invisible to you as an outsider? What forms of tacit knowledge do you require in order to make these assessments? Crystal will be stationed at a site to offer guidance. Please take notes to assist you in your group discussions and presentation later.

To give students a sense of how they can engage in thick description, record fieldnotes, and organize their thoughts, use these examples of Crystal’s various styles of ethnographic fieldnotes:

Brainfarts on a dramatic but totally professional and non-chaotic flight, 8 October 2014

Academic precarity and transient intimacies in 28 Tweets 29 July 2015

Political rallies and the tactility of collective effervescence, 10 September 2015

First touches, 27 April 2017


Workshop: Connecting digital and physical spaces

To illustrate the value of sensing your environment by using your body as an interface to feel and understand the world, use these visual resources and narrative accounts to discuss the networked self and empathy to your sensorial environment:

The Anatomy of a Social Media(ted) Protest: #OccupyCentral on Instagram, 30 September 2014

An organic #OccupyCentral timeline on-site at Admiralty, 24 November 2014

Semiotica Dramatica and a Resistance Ecology On Site : #OccupyCentral at Causeway Bay and Admiralty, 25 November 2014

If I was white, 27 November 2014


Workshop: Visual spaces

To illustrate the importance of socio-cultural context, power dynamics, and personal politics in one’s emplacement and embedment in a local environment, use these parody videos to explain the relationship between body, demographic, place, and space:

Active wear
Van Vuuren Bros, 22 September 2015

Beyoncé – Formation
beyonceVEVO, 9 December 2016

MunahHirziOfficial, 11 April


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