Teaching, researching and living in the field: the challenges of applied ethnography as education.


  • Aris Anagnostopoulos, Eleni Stefanou, Evangelos Kyriakidis




Every summer for the past four years, a small group of Greek and foreign students gather at the mountainous village of Gonies Malevyziou in central Crete to participate in the monthly International Field School “Engaging Local Communities in Heritage Management through Archaeological Ethnographyâ€, organized by the Heritage Management Organization and the Cultural Association of Gonies. Teaching ethnography to non-anthropologists in the field is a challenging process as it brings to the fore multiple and interchanging roles for teachers and students alike. In this process of collective ethnographic learning, where the teaching setting is also our living setting and research setting, we often wonder about the entangled roles in the production of knowledge and interpretations articulated through theoretical readings, daily chores and lived experience. The demands of active research running side by side to methodological instruction and teaching create different expectations that shape the learning experience in unpredictable ways. This paper discusses some of the issues involved in this process: What is the position of members of the local community as producers, instigators and transmitters of this knowledge? How are our multiple identities as teachers, researchers, friends, visitors, locals/non-locals articulated within and outside the field? Finally, how is the knowledge produced managed and controlled by the community and the people responsible for the summer school?