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ETHE 2013 : Ethnographies of Higher Education: Researching and Reflecting “at Home”


When May 22, 2013 - May 24, 2013
Where Prague, Czech Republic
Submission Deadline Jan 15, 2013
Notification Due Feb 15, 2013
Categories    education

Call For Papers

The conference aims to bring together researchers interested and actively involved in qualitative, primarily ethnographic, research on higher education institutions, policies and practices, and to provide space for critical discussion and debate.We also aim to prepare apublication or series of publications to bring these insights to the broader academic public.

We propose three major foci – and welcome more.
1. Politics, positionality and engagement

“Reforms” of, and changes in, higher education may be discussed, questioned, fought for and against, or they may take place in a more invisible manner. What are the possible roles of higher education research in that dynamic? How is ethnographic participation linked with policy and politics, activism and engagement? How are the roles of researchers, experts, and activists played out in different times and different settings? And from the other end, how do the multiplepositions higher education researchers simultaneously occupy in the field (such as students, teachers, administrators, parents etc.)influence the framing of education research?
2. Diversity of the field and comparative practices

The field of higher education is diverse – in terms of disciplines, qualities, institutional forms. As such it is subject tovarious types of comparisons and rankings, made by agencies, ministries, media, students, academics, higher education institutions, and ultimately by us, higher education researchers. Since we are often critical of such comparisons and rankings, we need to examine explicitly our own epistemic practices of comparing in theoretical framing or field study designs. What role does (Western) social theory play in studying higher education in different parts of world? How do we deal with heterogeneity of the field during the course of a study and in textual representations?

3. Ethnographic effects

In a special strand we propose to reflect on and debate ethnography as an epistemic approach to the study of higher education:its possibilities (and possible limits), politics and practices. This will have a format of a special methodological workshop within the conference. We welcome short contributions (2 to 10 minutes) onvarious topics related to fieldwork (reflexivity, ethics, access, being/going native etc.). The aim of the workshop is to share and discuss field experiences and explore potential intersecting topics emerging in the course of the discussions.

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