The 15th Annual Ethnography Symposium

26th - 28th August 2020

THEME: Transdisciplinary adventures in ethnographic methods

Hosted by
Suffolk Business School, University of Suffolk

Conference Co-Chairs:
Dr Tom Vine, University of Suffolk
Dr Mike Rowe, University of Liverpool
Dr Ruth Strudwick, University of Suffolk
Professor David Weir, York St. Johns University

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Melissa S. Fisher
Cultural Anthropologist, New York University Institute for Public Knowledge

Dr. Ciara Kierans
Reader in Medical Anthropology, University of Liverpool

Professor Charlotte O’Brien
Socio-legal ethnographer, York Law School

Call for Papers
From its roots in anthropology, ethnography has gradually gained traction throughout the social sciences.  To this end, many of us are familiar with ethnographic studies not just in our native field, but in neighbouring fields too. But how many social scientists are familiar with ethnographic research undertaken by natural scientists?  We feel compelled to bring together ethnographers not just from distinct disciplines but from disparate faculties too.  For the 15th Annual Ethnography Symposium, we look forward to extending a very much welcome to scholars interested in ethnography and ethnographic methods from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Providing a forum for collaboration among international academics from genuinely disparate fields will open up opportunities for reciprocal learning.  Often the most interesting research emerges at subject boundaries, and so any move to enable collaboration between social and natural scientists will yield exciting new perspectives and understandings.  Ethnomathematics is one such example. In this area of enquiry, mathematicians deliberately put the study of culture at the centre of their research.  The field has thus recognised that mathematics – like any other pursuit– is culturally and socially constructed.  A simple but instructive aspect of this is the fact that our ten fingers and thumbs are considered a redetermining factor that led to the dominance of the decimal system.

We welcome papers from any disciplinary background on any theme, provided the method of ethnography is invoked.

Submission Details
Abstracts (up to 500 words), should be submitted to, saved as the author’s surname followed by the paper title, by Friday 6th March, 2020.  Abstracts should list all authors, an e-mail contact and institutional affiliation details at the top of the first page.  Decisions on acceptance of papers, subject to external refereeing, will be provided by e-mail no later than the 27th March 2020.

All abstracts and full papers received prior to the conference, and no later than Friday 7th August 2020, will be circulated electronically to delegates.

Best Paper Award
This year the Symposium will again be running a Best Paper Award, co-sponsored by Emerald Publishing, the publisher of the Journal of Organizational Ethnography with which this conference is affiliated.  This award will be made at the Symposium to a paper selected from among the full papers submitted.  When submitting a full paper, please indicate whether you wish your paper to be considered for the Best Paper Award. Submission for the Best Paper Award should be via e-mail to by Friday 7th August 2020.  A submission to the Best Paper Award will be treated as an intention to publish the paper in the Journal of Organizational Ethnography.

Alternative submissions
We would like to encourage all doctoral students to present a poster.  This might be in addition to the submission of a paper and perhaps cover a different aspect of your research.  Should you wish to use innovative forms and technologies, please contact us.  We will also be presenting a prize for the strongest poster. The prize is a waiver of the conference fee for the 2021 Symposium. And if you intend to present a poster, please contact us via so that we can plan the space available.

Symposium attendance fees, accommodation and registration
1. Attendance fee for delegates in full-time employment - early bird rate (registration deadline 15th May 2020) - £325

2. Attendance fee for delegates in full-time employment (registration deadline 29th July 2020) - £365

3. PhD students and doctoral research graduate, postdoctoral students in part-time employment and unemployed (registration deadline 29th July 2020) - £215

The attendance fee includes access to all symposium abstracts, papers, proceedings, daytime refreshments and lunches, a drinks reception on Wednesday 26th August and the informal Gala Dinner on Thursday 27th August.  We also encourage PhD students to attend pre-conference PhD workshops on the morning of Wednesday 26th August.  Full details of all of these events will be circulated closer to the time.

How To Register
Delegates wishing to register for the symposium will be able to do so from the New Year.  They should register and pay online via the Ethnography Symposium website when it goes live in the New Year.  If you prefer to pay by invoice, details will be added in due course.

When registering, please ensure that you select the appropriate fee: early bird (for those in full time employment), standard (for those in full time employment) or reduced (for PhD and post-doctoral research students and other concessions). The deadline for registration is 29th July 2020.

Queries regarding this conference can be made to
All information will be regularly updated on the Suffolk website in the New Year.
Follow us on Twitter: @ethnography_lk and #ethsym20

We look forward to welcoming you to Suffolk in August 2020!

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Conference Gala Dinner

Further details to follow shortly

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There are a number of hotels within easy walking distance of the conference location.