Ethnography At Large Speaker Series

Anne Allison, Ralph Litzinger, Yun Emily Wang


Type: Lab

From PhD to Book: How Ethnography is an Important Step

October 15, 2021
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Books are often viewed as an expected next step for PhD students upon graduation. But, we are rarely taught exactly how to move from conducting fieldwork to writing a book. How does one approach writing when it comes to working on a book? What is it like to work with an editor? What are the strategies to keep in mind when navigating academic and trade presses? Who should we talk to along the way to garner strong relationships in both worlds? Drs. Tami Navarro and Brian Goldstone, both graduates of Duke’s CA PhD program, answer these questions and more in a virtual event sponsored by the Ethnography Workshop. Come join us to hear about Tami and Brian’s respective projecteries, their experiences starting their own books, and their answers to any questions about writing, professionalization, and more. This event will be moderated by our own Professor Rebecca Stein, who recently published Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine (Stanford UP, 2021).


Tami Navarro is an Assistant Professor of Pan-African Studies at Drew University. She is the author of Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the US Virgin Islands (SUNY Press 2021). Tami is trained as a cultural anthropologist, and her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Anthropological Association, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She serves on the Board of the St. Croix Foundation and is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. Tami is the co-host of the podcast, “Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean” and a founding member of the Virgin Islands Studies Collective.

Brian Goldstone is an anthropologist, journalist, and 2021 National Fellow at New America. He is writing a book, The New American Homeless, about the crisis of housing insecurity in U.S. cities and the dramatic rise of the “working homeless” to be published by Crown/Penguin Random House. His long-form reporting and essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, The California Sunday Magazine, Guernica, Jacobin, and Public Books. He received his PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke in 2012. From 2012 to 2016, he was a Mellon Research Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. In 2017-2018, he was a Luce/ACLS Fellow in Journalism, Religion & International Affairs. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from Fulbright, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Ethnography for Human Rights: Research, Advocacy, and Justice in International Spaces

October 19, 2021
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Kyle Knight will talk about what his time as a cultural anthropology student at Duke meant for him in terms of developing research skills, curiosity, skepticism, and confidence, and how those skills have translated into a research career. He will discuss how he uses ethnographic writing as a resource in his work as a human rights researcher and advocate, and ethnographic sensibilities as a counterpoint to some of the temptations as a professional in international relations spaces.

Knight is a senior researcher on health and LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch. Previously he was a fellow at the Williams Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, and a Fulbright scholar in Nepal. As a journalist he worked for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Nepal and for the UN’s humanitarian news service (IRIN), reporting from Burma, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He has worked for UNAIDS, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and in the children’s rights and health and human rights divisions at Human Rights Watch. He sits on the editorial board of the Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health journal. He has a BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University and a Masters of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Ethnography at Work: Research, Collaboration, and Practice in Business Communities

April 8, 2022
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Historically, academics have struggled to translate the skills they have spent years fine-tuning into the language that corporations understand. While anthropologists are often seen as having an inside track due to their familiarity with ethnographic research, ethnographers and anthropologists alike often struggle to convince companies that their academic training is sufficient to hit the ground running in a corporate environment. This workshop, led by an ethnographer working as a UX Researcher inside the world of corporate finance, is intended to help ethnographers and social scientists learn how to apply an ethnographic approach within non-academic contexts. Operating from the perspective of User Experience Research, this workshop will focus on how to demonstrate the value and impact of ethnography through developing in-the-moment problem solving skills that focus on delivering quick, impactful results that matter to an organization.

Chris Daley received his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke in 2021, where he studied the youth imaginary among baseball players in post-Soviet Cuba. In addition to attending countless baseball games and practices, he also explored/attentive to the role of money and technology in the everyday experience of young Cubans. After returning from the field, Chris was offered a role as a Senior User Experience researcher at Fidelity Investments based on his interest in technology and his background in Economic Anthropology. At Fidelity, where Chris is now a Principal UX researcher, he focuses on designing scalable approaches to qualitative research, coordinating DEI best practices for 500 researchers, and publishing thought leadership on ethnography.