The Center for Ethnography presents

"City as Laboratory Series at CicLAvia: Panel on Experiments in Urban Fieldwork at UC Irvine"
with Alexandra Lippman, Adonia Lugo and Joanne Nucho, UCI Anthropology Graduate Students

Monday, April 9, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Social Science Plaza A, Room 2112

For further information, please contact Adonia Lugo,

About the series:
As places where residents and researchers practice and contest divides between local and global, cities challenge anthropologists to conceptualize their field sites across cultural boundaries. How does the diversity of urban space aid or hinder ethnographic fieldwork? Through our fieldwork practice, how do we reproduce or destabilize the way our informants experience urban space? Building on the Center for Ethnography’s inquiries into new forms of knowledge in ethnographic practice, this series imagines the urban field as an experimental space that collapses the distance between theory and practice. It considers the “city as laboratory,” reflecting on experimental methods through data gathering and discussion.

About the panel:
To start the series, this panel will feature UCI anthropology doctoral candidates reflecting on their recent experiments in fieldwork. Transitioning from the pedagogical world of graduate school to working in the field, fledgling anthropologists inhabit a conceptual space “somewhat betwixt and between fieldwork as a method and experience” (Marcus 1992). Upon arriving in the field, the anthropology student invariably finds herself experimenting in various ways.


  • Alexandra Lippman, "Towards a Sound Ethnography: Reshaping and Re-Sounding Rio de Janeiro"
  • Adonia Lugo, "Upsides and Downsides of Working on the Inside: Blogging as a Bike Activist during Ethnographic Fieldwork in Los Angeles"
  • Joanne Nucho, "Traces in/and Time: An Ethnographic Exploration of Traces in Bourj Hammoud, Beirut"

Up-coming field experiment:
City as Laboratory Field Experiment at CicLAvia
9:30 am - 3 pm on Sunday, April 15
Downtown Los Angeles
Co-founded by a UCI anthropology grad student, CicLAvia is a bicycling and pedestrian event that connects historically divided neighborhoods in central Los Angeles through street closures, and this time around participants have the opportunity to learn about experimental urban anthropology. The City as Lab workshop will create sound and visual recordings at CicLAvia and take notes on the sensory experience of
using city streets. If you are interested in joining a data gathering teams, email or visit The group will meet in the south courtyard at Union Station at 9:30 a.m. on the 15th to coordinate.

City as Laboratory Debrief at UC Irvine
Monday, April 23
To close the series, participants in the April 15 workshop will reflect on the data gathering experiment. All data and proceedings will be posted online.

For more information, visit

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