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The 17th Annual Ethnography Symposium

Calendar Wednesday 28 August 2024, 09:00-Friday 30 August 2024, 17:00

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At the Symposium we will be:

  • welcoming presentation of papers from any disciplinary background on any theme, provided they invoke a method of ethnography and encourage the conversation about tradition and innovations
  • holding sessions dedicated to PhD and Early Career Researchers development, led by Dr Robin Burrow (University of York)
  • hearing from guest speakers, Professor Rick Delbridge (Cardiff Business School), Dr Jenna Pandeli (University of the West of England), and Dr Robin Smith (Cardiff University School of Social Sciences).

The 17th Annual Ethnography Symposium

Theme: Crises, Change, and Continuities

Hosted by Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, 28-30 August 2024

Conference Organising Committee

  • Dr Anna Galazka, Cardiff Business School
  • Dr Katherine Parsons, Cardiff Business School
  • Dr Tracey Rosell, Cardiff Business School

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Dr Abigail Schoneboom, Newcastle University
  • Dr Harry Wels, VU Amsterdam
  • Dr Mike Rowe, University of Liverpool
  • Dr Robin Smith Cardiff University School of Social Sciences
  • Dr Tom Vine, University of Suffolk

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Rick Delbridge, Cardiff Business School
  • Dr Jenna Pandeli, University of the West of England
  • Dr Robin Smith, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences

Call for Papers

Ethnography has been traditionally thought of as a longitudinal and individual immersion in distant cultures. However, it has “taken on new stripes in the past few decades” (Tevington et al., 2023). Today, many ethnographers undertake transdisciplinary and creative research that produces original narrative and applied outputs.

The ethnographic research process has seen many innovations. To name just a few: there has been a proliferation of ‘quick and dirty’ rapid ethnographies (Vindrola-Padros & Vindrola-Padros, 2018) focused on short-term and intensive data collection in crisis-stricken healthcare; COVID-19 restrictions on in person research have led to a surge in evolving digital ethnographies (Forberg & Schilt, 2023); anthropocentric ethnographies have made room for multispecies analyses that give voice to non-human agents (Cornips & van den Hengel, 2021); other scholars have focused on the development of retrospective, collaborative autoethnographies (Tripathi et al., 2022) and carnal accounts (Wacquant, 2015) where researchers voice personal experiences and use their bodies for better sociological understanding.

But ethnography is not just a methodological research process. It also concerns the choices we make to write or otherwise present our findings (Forberg & Schilt, 2023). Books allow ethnographers to recreate the worlds examined in ways less constrained by word limits in journals (e.g. Delbridge, 1998), but even the latter increasingly create spaces for longer narrative accounts and non-conventional presentations that draw on creative methods to introduce new ways of thinking about the studied phenomena.

How has ethnography innovated itself over the years? What does the future of ethnography look like (Parsons et al., 2022)? What opportunities have these innovations created, and what challenges have they posed? How can ethnography continue innovating without forgetting its roots? The 17th Annual Ethnography Symposium is taking stock of the variety of ethnographic innovations while learning from the wisdom of ethnographic classics. We welcome papers from any disciplinary background on any theme, provided they invoke a method of ethnography and encourage the conversation about tradition and innovations.

Submission Details

Abstracts (up to 500 words) should be submitted to, as a Microsoft Word format (doc. or docx.), saved as the author’s surname followed by the paper title, by Friday 19 April 2024. Abstracts should list all authors, an e-mail contact and institutional affiliation details at the top of the first page. Decisions on acceptance of papers, subject to external refereeing, will be provided by e-mail no later than the 26 April 2024.

Further details and how to register will follow shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email

References available on request.

View The 17th Annual Ethnography Symposium on Google Maps
Cardiff Business School Postgraduate Teaching Centre
Colum Road
CF10 3EU

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