Course Description

  • Instructor: Ulla Berg, Ph.D.
  • Description:

    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective Requirement for LCS Major and Minor

    This course provides an introduction to reading, writing, and theorizing ethnography and applies this knowledge to the analysis and understanding of ethnographic works about and by Latinos in the U.S. Once largely understood as an “objective” form of knowledge production, ethnography today is often conceptualized as stories about the experiences of the ethnographer in relation to other people within a specific cultural context. Questions to be explored: What is the craft of ethnography? What kind of knowledge is ethnography and what are its limits? What social, political, and cultural processes inform the production and consumption of ethnography about Latinos? How are ethnographic texts on Latinos produced, circulated, and authorized within and beyond specific scholarly communities and larger publics? We will take a critical approach to reading and evaluating ethnographic works and apply our acquired skills in the craft of ethnography to specific writing exercises, which will allow us to explore various forms, formats, and styles for “writing Latino culture.”

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • understand the central concepts that define the craft of ethnography including participant-observation, ethnographic rapport, and ethnographic representation
    • evaluate and critique ethnographic representations about U.S. Latinx communities and populations
    • understand the interrelationships of fieldwork, theory, and various genres of writing in the construction of ethnographic texts about U.S. Latinos
    • develop critical skills in ethnographic fieldwork and writing
    • respond effectively to editorial feedback from peers, instructors, and/or supervisors through successive drafts and revision
    • communicate effectively in modes appropriate to a discipline or area of inquiry
  • Required Reading:

    Emerson, R. M., Fretz R. I., Shaw, L. L. 2011. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes (2nd Edition). University of Chicago Press. [ISBN: 9780226206868]

    De León, J. 2015. The Land of Open Graves. Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. University of California Press. [ISBN: 9780520282759]

    Additional readings and materials are available in Sakai or Canvas.

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Attendance and Class Participation = 20%
    Weekly Reading Responses = 20%

    Experimental Writing Assignments = 25%

    Final Project = 35%

  • Credits: 3
  • SAS Core Certified: WCD, WCR
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).