The Concordia Ethnography Lab was established in 2016 to promote and explore innovative ethnographic research. The Lab gathers ethnographic expertise from across Concordia to foster creative thinking about methodology, to enhance the possibility of research collaboration, and to act as a resource for researchers inside and outside the university who wish to use ethnography to ask questions about the world around them.
Beginning from the simple premise that ethnographic knowledge is learned through engagement and participation with the world, we experiment with new ways to foster these basic research principles. Recognizing that many students are trained in the deep ethnographic traditions of particular disciplines (particularly anthropology and sociology), and that most carry out projects as lone researchers and authors, our aim in the Lab is to offer ways to practice ethnography collaboratively and across disciplines.
The Lab’s primary mandate is to encourage research projects. Many of these are faculty-led group initiatives with external funding. But the lifeblood of the lab is student-driven initiatives, which we support through small funding calls, infrastructural support, and a vibrant scholarly community.
We operate with “working groups” which either run research projects or organize activities such as workshops, movie nights and writing circles in the lab, and all lab members are part of one or more of these working groups. Becoming involved in a working group gives one access to all Lab activities and resources, including participating in workshops, using the extensive equipment available in the Milieux Institute and drawing on the interdisciplinary expertise of the dozens of faculty and graduate students working with us.