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Ethnographies in motion


10-12 janvier 2018

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Anne-Christine Trémon, UniL

Silvia Wojczewski, UniL


Simone Abram, Durham Stéphane Tonnelat, CNRS Jessica Wilczac, UniL Bo Wang, UniL



How is the "field" constituted in ethnographies of mobilities? What methods do you employ to study spatio-temporal relations between people and places and inequalities between diverse im/mobilities of inhabitants of a place? How do you keep track with your research subjects (or objects) in diverse contexts of mobility/immobility?


Diverse and intersecting mobilities and immobilities make it necessary to think about old and new methodologies of doing ethnography. Elliot, Salazar and Norum (2016: 8) for example draw on observations, interviews, mapping, and other techniques of tracing aimed to capture the "entanglement of movement, meaning, and practice" (p. 14) while Lindquist (2009) or Bruner (2005) examine the possibilities of studying mobility and change while remaining 'in place' and capturing the meaning of place and emplacement. Scholars inspired by phenomenology have explored walking and the "mobile sense of place" (Edensor 2009) it generates, the sense of spatial belonging and homeliness that emerges through 'dwelling-in-motion' (Sheller and Urry 2006). Walking can also produce subversive meanings of place, alternatives to spatial planning (De Certeau 1988). Different ways of walking depend on, and reveal, a diversity of regulations and restrictions, of qualities of space, and of sociabilities, social identities and activities (Edensor 2010, Lee and Ingold 2006, Shortell and Brown 2016, Feldman 2017, Solnit 2001, Wunderlich 2008). Mobile interviews or transect walks have the potential to offer heightened insights into daily lives, diverse geographies and changing landscapes. Other recording devices may be used as well during tours, which Sarah Pink theorizes as "collaborative ethnographic methods as place-making practices" (2008: 176).


These and other methods together with epistemological underpinnings of mobile ethnographies used by the participants of the workshop will be explored and discussed during the workshop.








Invited speakers:


- Simone Abram, anthropologist


She is a member of the Anthropology Department at Durham University, UK. She studied social Anthropology at Oxford University with a DPhil on history and heritage in the French Auvergne. Her research has been in three main areas: energy, anthropologies of planning and governance, and tourism. Amongst many other projects, she worked on an international research project (based at Leeds Met University) on Arctic travel-writing and tourism ( She shares a general concern with the concept of disciplines and the means for public communication of research which has found expression in collaborative projects, and through use of audio-visual and online media in both research and dissemination. Selected publications related to anthropology and mobility:


Abram, S. (2017). Im/mobile method/ologies. In Methodologies of Mobility: Ethnography and Experiment. Elliot, A., Norum, R. & Salazar, N.B. Oxford: Berghahn Books. 195-200.


Abram, S., Feldman Bianco, B., Khosravi, S., Salazar, N., & de Genova, N. (2017). The free movement of people around the world would be Utopian: IUAES World Congress 2013: Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds, 5–10 August 2013. Identities, 24(2), 123-155. doi:10.1080/1070289X.2016.1142879


Abram, S. (2010). Anthropology, Tourism and Intervention? In Thinking Through Tourism. Scott, J. & Selwyn, T. Oxford: Berg. ASA Monograph: 231-253.


- Stéphane Tonnelat, architect and anthropologist


Stéphane Tonnelat is a research faculty member at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), based at the CRH-LAVUE research center, and located at the Paris Val-de-Seine School of Architecture. His research focuses mostly on urban public spaces such as spaces of transportation (subway, ferry), parks and gardens and urban wastelands. He is the author of a recently published book with William Kornblum on the public spaces along the 7 train in New York ( This elevated line serves as the backbone of numerous ethnic immigrant communities. More generally, Stephane's interests include urban planning and design, theory of public space, parks and gardens, pluralism and multiculturalism. He is a member of the editorial committee of the journals Chimères and




There will also be two shorter interventions by :




- Jessica Wilczac, Human Geographer, Postdoc at University of Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie




- Bo Wang, Anthropologist, Postdoc at University of Lausanne, Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie









Bruner, E. M. (2005). Culture on tour: Ethnographies of travel: University of Chicago Press.


De Certeau, M. (1988) The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley: University of California Press).


Edensor, T. 2009. Mobility, rhythm and commuting. In Mobilities: Practices, spaces, subjects, edited by T. Cresswell and P. Merriman. Aldershot: Ashgate.


Edensor, T. (2010) Walking in rhythms: place, regulation, style and the flow of experience, Visual Studies, 25:1, 69-79


Elliot, A., Norum, R., & Salazar, N. B. (2017). Methodologies of Mobility: Ethnography and Experiment (Vol. 2): Berghahn Books.


Feldman, J. (2017). Key figure of mobility: the pilgrim. Social Anthropology, 25(1), 69-82.


Lee, J. and T. Ingold (2006) 'Fieldwork on Foot: Perceiving, Routing, Socializing', in S. Coleman and P. Collins (eds) Locating the Field. Space, Place and Context in Anthropology, pp. 67–86. Oxford: Berg.


Lindquist, J. A. (2009). The anxieties of mobility: Migration and tourism in the Indonesian borderlands: University of Hawaii Press.


Pink, S. (2008). An urban tour: The sensory sociality of ethnographic place-making. Ethnography, 9(2), 175-196.


Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2006). The new mobilities paradigm. Environment and planning A, 38(2), 207-226.


Shortell, T., & Brown, E. (2016). Walking in the European city: Quotidian mobility and urban ethnography: Routledge.


Solnit, R. (2001). Wanderlust: A history of walking: Penguin.


Wunderlich, F. M. (2008) Walking and Rhythmicity: Sensing Urban Space, Journal of Urban Design, 13:1, 125-139



Participation fee: 50 CHF



Deadline for registration 15.12.2017
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