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Ethnography Lab


A Research Initiative to build an Intellectual Community
Prof. Ranjana Raghunathan
by Prof. Ranjana Raghunathan
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The Ethnography Lab is an initiative of the School of Liberal Arts and Design Studies – anchored under the Vidyashilp Research Centre – to facilitate conversations on ethnographic research. It provides both faculty and students a platform to collaborate on ethnographic research with stakeholders inside and outside the university. It is also an intellectual community and resource centre for a wide community of researchers engaged in ethnographic research methods.

1. Promote ethnographic research methods and practice, within and outside the university.
2. Community engagement and public knowledge sharing.
3. Create a thriving intellectual community grounded in fieldwork, conversations and practice of ethnography.

The Principal Investigator for the Ethnography Lab is Dr. Ranjana Raghunathan, who is an Assistant Professor at the School of Liberal Arts and Design Studies in Vidyashilp University.


Research on Urban Neighbourhoods
Areas of any city or town are rich with historical and anthropological insights. The research on urban neighbourhoods aims to trace the social life and transformations of select neighbourhoods in diverse urban settings, by using ethnographic methods (field observation, interviews, oral histories). PhD and Post-doctorate research scholars are encouraged to apply to work on this research project, which aims to approach urban social life through diverse theoretical lenses, and experiences inflected by gender, class, or religion to name a few. This project is also a crucial pedagogical tool for the university undergraduate courses on research methods, community engagement, gender in India, and Indian cultures.

Events and Workshops
The Ethnography Lab will host a series of talks by experts from within the academia and beyond, on curated themes specific to ethnography. It is also a space for researchers to present their works in-progress, fieldwork encounters, or have conversations on ethnographic practice.

Teaching and Pedagogy

  • The university's foundational course on ethnography is anchored in the lab.
  • Dr.Ranjana Raghunathan collaborated with three undergraduate students to conduct ethnographic research in select neighbourhoods. The initial findings of this field collaboration was then translated into two guided field visit experiences for other undergraduate students. Students explored innovative research methods such as walking and sensory ethnography.
  • Dr.Ranjana Raghunathan has conducted a workshop entitled "Ethnography as a teaching practice" for high school teachers in Bangalore. It explored how an ethnographic sensibility can contribute to classroom pedagogy, enable integrating multiple subjects and promote critical & reflective thinking.

    Ethnographic Field Work

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