This conference seeks to question tacit assumptions about the nature of empirical worlds that continue to constrict imaginative potentials and research horizons of ethnographic fieldwork. By bringing together scholars, writers, artists and performers working across institutional fields and thematic regions, we will collectively reconsider ethnography’s generative currency as method, evidence, and aesthetic sensibility across the Americas.
Current challenges that many countries face throughout the Americas call for ethnography that is not only principled but artful: to render visible what can be sensed only in lived proximity, but is often imperceptible and ambiguous, and therefore resists description and clarification. Indeed, in spaces where aftermaths of conflicts and governing regimes return as they withdraw, where illicit organizations and state institutions overlap and fold into one another, and where carceral regimes both destabilize and generate social and political worlds, ethnographers must attend to uncertainty, fragmentation, and disorientation.
Workshops and panels during the conference will encourage researchers to reflect on a range of approaches to fieldwork and writing, so as to better weigh the evidentiary claims and compositional innovations that inquiry into these spaces may often demand. In this vein, the conference takes inspiration from ethnography’s capacity to challenge a common presupposition of research methodologies: that they should insulate empirical inquiry from error, ambiguity, and illegibility.
Some of the questions we will engage throughout the conference include:
This conference aspires to foster a highly participatory, collaborative forum. Invited scholars will lead workshops with students and faculty that will present and experiment with distinct approaches to ethnographic fieldwork and composition. Throughout the four-day conference we welcome participants who wish to rethink what ethnography is and can be through hands-on, discussion-based sessions.
UF Core Organizing Team:
Luísa Bridi Dacroce
Andrea Dahdah Palencia
Nicole H. Kinbarovsky
The Center for Latin American Studies 70th Annual Conference will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. If you are traveling to Gainesville for the conference, we encourage you to review the hotel and parking information to ensure a smooth travel experience.
For the past 70 years, the Center for Latin American Studies has hosted annual conferences ranging in topic from business, Cuba, rural social movements, buen vivir, Indigenous peoples, and more.