Field School 2017

    The Field School has been progressing nicely--the students have interviewed about 35% of the 70 gardeners at Lang Street Garden--it's been fun, intensive and exhausting. One of the fun parts of working with community gardens is the distinct opportunities for participant-observation research. Some of the students have "dug in" to the experience by …

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The Latest & Greatest in Ethnography: Evicted by Matthew Desmond

From today's Book World in The Washington Post:  Thank you, Matthew Desmond. Thank you for writing about destitution in America with astonishing specificity yet without voyeurism or judgment. Thank you for showing it is possible to compose spare, beautiful prose about a complicated policy problem. Thank you for giving flesh and life to our squabbles …

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Arlington Community Gardens

Last weekend I began fieldwork for the Summer 2016 Field School. I'm back along the Columbia Pike, this time studying community gardens along Four Mile Run and Douglas Park. The project stretches me in new and exciting ways. I'm an avid "urban farmer"--I cleared the azaleas alongside my house to create three 8X10 garden beds. …

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Two Arlingtons? An Ethnographic Reflection

Two years ago I wrapped up a two-year ethnographic project along Northern Virginia's Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA. The project provided a great site for the Field School for Cultural Documentation, but tensions in the community were running high. Long-term residents reported being ignored by their county board members. Small business owners said they were …

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