Anthro in the Field

I work independently, as well as with study abroad companies and universities to design, and deliver a tailor-made course called Transformative Ethnography (Click the link to read the article). I developed this method over thirty years of practice based on my sensorial and embodied fieldwork.

This means that when participants go abroad with me, they "get their hands dirty." They actively participate. They try, fail, and try again to blend in to some aspect of the culture. They unlearn innate patterns of behavior and practice and adapt to new ones. No one is ever urged to do anything against their will nor their morals and values. However, there is no limit to what we can question about our culturally-constructed selves. 

The implicit questions in this fieldwork: How does our own cultural background influence our perceptions? How do we re-make ourselves according to a new cultural sensibility without losing who we are? What kind of wisdom can be gleaned from such an experience? The result is a transformative experience that guides students to critically reflect on the habitual patterns of thought and behavior that make up 'the cultural being.'  

In brief, Transformative Ethnography gives students the tools to immerse themselves deeply and critically into a society according to their proclivities and interests. Students receive sensorial training in the field through a series of mini-field experiments. If we are in France, for example, we might practice honing our senses to stimuli in an open-air market, a public square, a café, or in various and diverse neighborhoods. Each student will choose one activity from which to study more deeply an aspect of the host culture. In the classroom, we use contemplative exercises, journal-writing, and discussions in which students can use self and group reflection on their experiences of adapting to a different culture. In the end, students design an ethnographic exposition that creatively represents their multi-sensorial impressions of the culture.

Interested in co-creating or participating on a program? Send me an email: lisa@lisafeder.com

Next Trip: December 2021 to Guinea, West Africa