Weaving the World: Ethnographic Writing Workshop by Paul Stoller (A Three-Day Workshop at CAS-E) May 8, 15, 22, 2024

The aim of this workshop is to introduce students to the fundamental features and essential practices of writing ethnography and creative nonfiction. The primary objective of the course is to show participants how to sensuously describe ethnographic spaces, sounds and characters.
Participants will engage in writing exercises that enable them to “Weave the World, ” a seamless linkage of sensuous description and social analysis. Participants will also be asked to read examples from the work of writers (including ethnographers) who have, in various ways, successfully used « weaving the world » techniques to evoke places and spaces, develop dialogue and craft character. By the end of the course, participants will have practiced writing strategies that they can use to ensure that their future readers come to know a people who live in a particular place. During the workshop participants will be asked to write culture evocatively. The instructor will outline ethnographic writing practices—the “tricks of the trade.” He will then ask the participants to begin to “Weave the World” by writing (1) descriptions of space/place, (2)
dialogue and (3) character portraits.

May 8, 15, 22, 2024


Paul Stoller is Permanent Fellow at CAS-E, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg. He is the author of 16 books. For more than 15 years, he has been facilitating ethnographic writing workshops in Europe, North American and West Africa. His latest book Is Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times (2023). In 2013 the King of Sweden awarded him the Anders Retzius Gold Medal in Anthropology.

Paul Stroller
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