Arts and Ethnography in a Contemporary World: From Learning to Social Participation

Ferro, L. and Poveda, D. (eds.), (2019), Arts and ethnography in a contemporary world: From learning to social participation. London: The Tufnell Press.

Teaching and learning practices around arts in various formal and informal contexts are increasingly at the centre of ethnographic research. In parallel, artists and arts researchers are engaging with ethnography as a part of their research toolkit. Ethnography helps reveal the potentialities of thearts and interconnects several disciplinary practices but also involves complex tensions and uncertainties that emerge from extending conventional research practices. In this book definitional issues around learning, education, social participation and expressive practices are reflexively re-examined deepening our understanding of artistic practices and art contexts in a contemporary world. Studies on and in the arts often blur conventional disciplinary borders, providing a terrain for new insights to arise from interdisciplinary dialogue. By combining the study of social practices and discourses related to art-making, and applying ethnography as the main methodological approach, researchers stimulate intellectual debate. This book reveals a diversity of artistic contexts and practices explored by social scientists and artists in settings across locations in Europe and Latin America. The edited volume provides a balance of methodological discussions around ethnographic methods stemming from the examination of artistic practices and settings, detailed accounts of how art is experienced in local settings or critical accounts of how art emerges as a methodological and conceptual tool for social intervention, thus promoting social participation and educational change. The book will be of value to students and researchers in the social sciences and the arts, as well as appealing to a broader audience interested in these issues.


Arts and ethnography in a contemporary world: An introduction (Lígia Ferro and David Poveda),  Learning the art museum: Experiments in talking/writing ethnography (Pat Thomson, Amy McKelvie, Leanne Turvey and Alice Walton), Changing Play: Art, material play and learning (Anton Franks), Creative teaching practices of art in education in rural schools (Maria Begoña Vigo Arrazola and Dennis Beach), Constructing knowledge in dialogue with rural schoolchildren, between art and life¡ (Giovanna Bacchiddu and Francisco Schwember), Misrecognitions in the practice of art and ethnography (Andrew Hewitt and Melanie Jordan), Ethnotheatre: Expanding participant observation (Ricardo Seiça Salgado), The Hat, the Cobra, and the Manchester Improv Collective (Geoff Bright and Anton Hunter), Lost and found: Ethnographic researcher and arts practitioners getting lost and coming home (Harriet Rowley), The reinvention of a peripheral neighborhood in Lisbon: Reflections on urban art, ethnography and public policy (Otávio Raposo).

Read reviews in: Sociologia: Revista da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (pdf) / Art & the Public Sphere (pdf)

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