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OtherwiseMag Workshops

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The Leftovers: Reclaiming Ethnographic Discards for Transformation

Instructors: poetry editor Grace Zhou &
multimodal and fiction editor Olivia Casagrande


What happens to the leftovers of anthropological practice? What do we do with the parts of our ethnographic experiences and research materials that have inevitably been trimmed out of finished outputs? What are the doings/undoings that these leftovers would allow, if brought back to the center of the scene?


Especially given the intensity of fieldwork, anthropology is made of many things we decide to or have to discard. In our writing, as well as in more creative and visual forms of representation, aspects of what we have experienced, sensed, witnessed, felt or understood, are often left out of the frame.


The reasons for this vary - perhaps related to the ethics and politics of fieldwork, but also to the often tyrannical needs of theoretical coherence and argumentative consistency.


Guided by playfulness and curiosity, we will work creatively with the leftovers of our anthropological practices. We aim to bring discarded materials, aspects, stories, and images back to the center of the scene, reclaiming and transforming them through textual/poetry and visual prompts.


This two-hour-long workshop will begin with a collective warm-up exercise, move through a couple of guided prompts, and will culminate in a discussion and sharing of experiences as well as experiments.


Participants will be requested to bring in “leftovers” from their work that they would like to experiment with, such as fieldnotes, images, objects, archival documents and/or materials.

Speculative Poetics for an Otherwise Ethnography

Instructor: poetry editor Grace Zhou 

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For anthropologists, as bound to the empirics of lived experience as we are, the creative potential of thinking with the speculative allows us “to confront our world’s inclusions and exclusions from across imaginaries of difference” (Anderson et al., 2018).


Speculative genres challenge assumed boundaries between the individual and society, self and other, human and nonhuman, familiar and alien (Chandrasekaran 2018; Haraway 2013). They create space for the theorization of ethnographic reality based on more imaginative truths, one that might orient us towards the otherwise— both in terms of disciplinary practices and the worlds they enact into being. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore ethnography and poetry as parallel and potentially intersecting “modes of attunement, methods of empirics, and crafts of fabulation” (Zhou and Tan 2023).


Guided by prompts to write and create through a speculative poetics for an otherwise ethnography, we will experiment and play with erasure, persona, the epistle, golden shovels, and/or other forms and techniques. 

Borrowing from the Journalist's Tool box

Instructor: fiction and non-fiction editor Emily Kennedy

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Discover how to amplify the reach of your expertise and research by harnessing journalistic techniques.


Perfect for students and faculty alike, this 60-minute workshop will empower you to connect with the public through various channels, be it traditional media (op-eds, articles, interviews) or self-published platforms (blogs, podcasts, social media). Come prepared with a story topic for development and engage in breakout rooms where small groups will practice specific tools and receive tailored feedback. Leave the session equipped with a pitch ready for media outlets or strategically positioned for self-publishing. Participants will receive digital handouts outlining the methods covered during the workshop, ensuring you can apply these invaluable tools repeatedly in your endeavors.


Don't miss this opportunity to revolutionize the impact of your anthropological research on society.

Telling Otherwise

Instructors: editors in chief Fatima Raja &
Marco Di Nunzio

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Often associated with anthropology, ethnography is both a research method and a genre of writing. As a method, it is characterised by long-term engagement with the field, and direct participation in the lives of the communities and individuals whose experiences and perspectives ethnographers seek to document. As a genre, ethnography speaks the language of the ordinary and the everyday. It is a form of storytelling that documents dominant assumptions, but also questions and challenges them.


In this workshop, Marco Di Nunzio & Fatima Raja, co-editors-in-chief at OtherwiseMag will help participants cultivate ethnography as a form of storytelling. In the workshop, we will discuss ways of crafting stories that speak for themselves without statements of intents and experiments with stories that have beginnings, middles and ends.

Creativity in Anthropological Writing

Instructor: poetry editor Eleni Kotsira

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This interactive workshop will provide tools, guidance and inspiration for participants to experiment with different literary styles, so they can describe ethnographic data in ways interesting to a wider audience, thus making their writing appealing to audiences beyond anthropology.


Through a series of short exercises, participants will practice the following:

• constructing space & place (and signalling the difference between these two)

• capturing emotions (their own & others’)

• storytelling

• poetry.


The workshop lead will give feedback to all participants on their experimentations, but participants will be also encouraged to give peer feedback to each other.

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