Abroad in France
I work with study abroad programs in France to consult, design, and deliver a tailor-made course in called Transformative Ethnography based on the turn toward a sensorial, embodied, ethnographic methodology in the field of anthropology. This course is designed to increase students' intercultural literacy and may be conceived as a seminar or series of seminars, as outings, as a two-week orientation, or as a semester-length class.
Transformative Ethnography gives students the tools to immerse themselves deeply and critically into a French multicultural society according to their proclivities and needs. Students receive sensorial training in the field through a series of mini-field experiments. They learn to hone their senses in an open-air market, a public square, a café, in various and diverse neighborhoods. They may experiment with cheese-making, bread-making, and other bodily techniques. They may taste foods and dance to music from various ethnic backgrounds. Through contemplation, journal-writing, and discussions in the classroom, students reflect on the experience of adapting to multicultural French society. In the end, students design their own creative ethnographic exposition that represents their impressions of the culture how they experienced it. The overlying questions ask: How does our own cultural background influence our perceptions? How do we re-make ourselves according to a new sensibility? The result is a transformative experience that guides students to critically reflect on the habitual patterns that make up the cultural being.