The 2018 Chicago Ethnography Incubator will be held on March 8th and 9th. The event brings together leading faculty and exceptional graduate students for an annualsymposium on state of the field discussions regarding ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation methods. Please find detailed information about the event below. 

Ethnographic Reflections - A Panel Discussion with our Faculty Fellows 

On Thursday, March 8th the Annual Chicago Ethnography incubator will host “Ethnographic Reflections.” This event will feature a roundtable panel discussion with the 2018 Incubator’s faculty regarding current methodological, substantive, and ethical issues presently confronting ethnographic research. The event is open to the public. 5:00pm to 7:00pm in Saieh Hall 021. 

Faculty Fellows

The Chicago Ethnography Incubator brings together faculty fellows and graduate students who work with ethnographic methods - building an interdisciplinary forum where cutting edge scholarship can be enriched through rigorous critique and collaborative inquiry. The 2018 event features four prominent scholars who are deeply committed to the critical engagement and improvement of qualitative projects and methodologies.  Short descriptions of their work and interests are below: 


Mary Gray

Mary L. Gray is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She maintains a faculty appointment in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, with affiliations in Anthropology, Gender Studies and the Media School, at Indiana University. Mary studies how technology access and everyday uses of media transform people’s lives. Her research has been covered or published in venues ranging from The Economist, Harvard Business Review, and New York Times to the International Journal of Communication and Cultural Anthropology. She served on the American Anthropological Association’s Executive Board and currently sits on the Executive Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R).Twitter: @maryLgray

Tianna Paschel

Tianna S. Paschel is assistant professor of African American Studies at the University of California – Berkeley. Previously, she was the Neubauer Family assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Her research deploys ethnographic and archival methods to examine the intersection between race, politics, and globalization in the Americas. Her work can be found in the American Journal of Sociology, the Du Bois Review, SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. She is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights 

Laurence Ralph

Laurence Ralph is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Departments of Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.  He is the author of Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago. His scholarly work explores how the historical circumstances of police abuse, mass incarceration, and the drug trade naturalize disease, disability, and premature death for urban residents, who are often seen as expendable. Theoretically, his research resides at the nexus of critical medical and political anthropology, African American studies, and the emerging scholarship on disability. He combines these literatures to show how violence and injury play a central role in the daily lives of black urbanites.

Iddo Tavory

Iddo Tavory is an Associate Professor of sociology at NYU, interested in the interactional patterns through which people come to understand their lives.  His book Abductive Analysis (with Stefan Timmermans) provides a pragmatist account of the relationship among theory, observations and method in qualitative research. His second book, Summoned, is an ethnography of a Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles as well as a treatise on the co-constitution of interaction, identity and social worlds. He is currently working on an ethnography of knowledge-production in an advertising agency in New York, and a co-authored book on pro-bono and the culture of "doing good" in advertising. 


2018 Graduate Student Fellows

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, PhD Candidate, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Anthropology. “The Promise of Intimacy: Gay Filipinos on Mobile Phone Apps in and between Manila and Los Angeles.”

Annie Hikido, PhD Candidate, University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Sociology. “Making Accommodations and Staking Globalization: Black Women and Home Enterprise in South Africa.”

Dana Kornberg, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Department of Sociology. “Reclaiming Waste, Remaking Communities: Persistence and Change in Delhi's Informal Garbage Economy.”

Jeffery Omari, PhD Candidate, University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Anthropology. “Democracy and Digital Technology: Internet Governance and Social In/exclusion in Rio de Janerio.”

Melissa Osborne, PhD Candidate, University of Chicago, Department of Sociology. "First Generation and Low-Income Students’ College Success: How does Financial, Cultural, and Social Capital Matter?

Ande Reisman, PhD Candidate, University of Washington, Department of Sociology. “Migration, Gender, and Development: The Impacts of Male Labor Out-Migration on Women and Household in Nepal.”

Benjamin Shestakofsky, PhD Candidate, University of California Berkeley, Department of Sociology. “Working Algorithms: Software Automation and the Future of Work.”

University Presses Attending

Doug Mitchell Kyle Wagner 



Marcela Cristina Maxfield 


Faculty Organizers

Kimberly Kay Hoang, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Kristen Schilt, Associate Professor of Sociology

Forrest Stuart, Assistant Professor of Sociology

2018 Call for Graduate Student Fellows


Contact Us:

Please feel free to contact the planning committee at with any questions!


Previous Ethnography Incubators:

2017 Ethnography Incubator