Pictured: the Ethnography Lab. Photo by Matthew Brooks.

The Ethnography Lab at Concordia University was established to promote and explore innovative ethnographic research. Ethnography is the traditional methodology of anthropologists, based in situated participant-observation, mixed qualitative data-collection and non-reductive forms of representation. It has recently become popular in other disciplines as well, and even outside of the academy, making it a site of increasingly interdisciplinary methodological thinking.

The Lab gathers diverse ethnographic expertise from various faculties at Concordia to foster creative thinking about methodology, to enhance the possibility of new collaborative projects, and to act as a resource for university researchers and people outside of academia who wish to explore cutting-edge ethnography.

Key Questions

  • How can researchers from different backgrounds collaboratively develop process-centered agile frameworks for research that allow us to attend to the change and uncertainty of the 21st century?
  • How do practices of ethnography transform researchers and the spaces of knowledge production?
  • How is ethnography taken up by research participants (researchers or not) as part of ongoing political, economic and social projects inside and outside the university?
  • Who does and doesn’t get to be an ethnographer and why?
  • What kinds of infrastructure can we create for improving collaborative ethnographic methods?
  • What is the genealogy of ethnography applied to art and design practice? How is ethnography used and what forms of knowing / being are produced?
  • How can new technological tools and paradigms reformulate traditional forms of ethnographic writing and lead to new ways of seeing ethnography as creative and generative?
  • What does it mean to ethnographically represent phenomena that are too large to sense?
  • ​What can ethnographic research actually do? How can it play a role in promoting/facilitating/enacting positive, sustainable social change?


Ethnography lab & living gallery
EV.Building, 10.625,
Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology,
Sir George Williams Campus,
Concordia University,
1515 Rue Sainte-Catherine O,
Montréal, QC

Read about the history of the ethnography lab here