The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have dramatic, largely alienating effects on students and teachers at all levels. At the same time, there is an urgent and growing need to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding in different work and living places, in different geopolitical contexts. This is all the more important as COVID-19 compounds with other vulnerabilities and violences. These disjunctive challenges are being addressed in tandem through an initiative to mobilize university students and teachers to help characterize how COVID-19 is playing out in different places, in process teaching critical ethnographic research skills and drawing students into a large, on-going research enterprise. This is the goal of the COVID-19 Ethnographic Portfolio Project.
Project researchers/teachers are developing a rich portfolio of assignments that guide students through ethnographic knowledge production about COVID-19. They also are developing sociotechnical infrastructure supporting 1) a community of teachers involved in the project, 2) incorporation of student research into the broader Transnational Disaster STS COVID-19 Project, making student research visible and valued, 3) a freely accessible, transnationally-linked digital workspace for student ethnographers, their teachers, and more senior ethnographers.
The proposed project is part of the larger Transnational Disaster STS COVID-19 Project, and can leverage its digital workspace and extensive network of collaborating researchers (already including people in Colombia, Ecuador, India, Germany, Kenya, Turkey, and the United States).