HomeMulti.Pluri.Trans. Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography

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Published on Monday, December 17, 2012


The conference picks up recent tendencies in ethnographic research that respond to the diversifying social conditions of educational practice by addressing issues such as the translocality and pluricentricity, the multilingual, intercultural as well as multimodal nature of educational realities and the complex relations between local practices and national / global transformations and policies in the fields of education and social work. In different formats of contributions we will present and discuss theoretical and methodological conceptualizations, empirical research findings, as well as questions of research practice and methods.


"MultiPluriTrans, Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography", International Conference on Ethnographic Research in Education and Social Work, 21. - 23. November 2013, University of Luxembourg

The Conference is organized by the Research Group "Early childhood: education and care" at the University of Luxembourg.


Educational theory and research usually observes pedagogical phenomena as taking place in a unity of time, space, person and action, and conceives of these elements in an essentialist way. Ethnography’s recent success within the educational scientific community resulted not least from this kind of naturalism, as one of the virtues of ethnographic research is the physical co-presence of researchers in the observation of educational realities.

This taken-for-granted assumption of a unity of time, space, person and action and an essentialist understanding of these elements is now being more and more questioned and replaced by more dynamic conceptions of the locality and modality of pedagogical phenomena. This development is not least a consequence of ethnographic research, which investigates, for example, political structures and societal discourses no longer merely as external conditions of action in educational fields, but as integral parts of its practical accomplishment. Moreover, this practice is no longer thought of and described as merely locally situated, but also as enfolding in hybrid, scattered, interwoven, transnational figurations which therefore transcend locality. Thereby, also the sensitivity for its internal diversity is heightened: Concerning ethnic, gender, linguistic, generational and other differences as well as their interwovenness on the one hand, and the multiformaty of processes of education, learning, Bildung, help and care on the other hand. Not least, it is increasingly questioned whether only humans are acting in educational fields or whether also objects, spaces, bodies and artefacts should be taken into account as active participants in the practical accomplishment of educational realities. To put it briefly: Basic assumptions about where the places and times of learning, education, and social work are to be found, about who their actors and addressees are and how education and learning are carried out, have turned from preconditions into the very tasks of research.

With its title "MultiPluriTrans. Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography", the Luxembourgian conference picks up tendencies in ethnographic research which deal with the translocality and plurality of educational realities, with the multilingual, multicultural and multimodal conditions of pedagogical practice, and with the complex relations between local practice and national/global transformations and policies.

The conference aims at exploring the innovations, potentials and ambiguities of these research strategies and asks for their specific empirical and theoretical contributions to educational science.

Some issues and questions are:

  • Which theories and methodologies are suitable in order to explore the transnational, multimodal, plurilocal, multiprofessional etc. realities of learning, education and social work?
  • Which insights can ethnographic research contribute to the understanding and reconstruction of educational fields as perspectively and positionally diversified realities?
  • What are the processes and entities through which the fields of education, learning, help and care are constituted as such? What roles do, for example, interactions, bodies, objects, programs, networks, sounds, discourses play in these processes?
  • How can the connections between (global) politics and (local) practice be analysed by means of ethnographic fieldwork? What is the role of multi-sited and comparative research strategies or the so called multi-level and mixed-methods approaches in this context?
  • What are the consequences of the mentioned decentralising tendencies for ‘participant observation’? What challenges do fieldworkers have to respond to in plurilingual, multicultural, and transnational settings?
  • We would like to cordially invite you to participate in the conference by making theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions.

Types of contributions

  • Individual Paper – presentation (20 min) plus discussion in thematically structured panels
  • Research Workshoppresentation and discussion of a research question on the basis of recently collected data material (1,5 hrs)
  • Poster – presentation in a poster session

The following keynote speakers have assured their participation:

  • Prof. Richard Edwards, Ph.D. and Prof. Tara Fenwick, Ph.D., University of Stirling / UK
  • Prof. Robert Fairbanks, Ph.D., University of Chicago / USA
  • Prof. Jane Kenway, Ph.D., Monash University / Australia
  • Prof. Gunther Kress, Ph.D., University of London / UK
  • Prof. Luisa Martin Rojo, Ph.D., Universidad Autònoma de Madrid / Spain
  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Wolff, Stiftung Universität Hildesheim / Germany

Submission guidelines

The conference is carried out bilingually – in English and German. Simultaneous translations will be provided.

Abstracts for a conference contribution must be submitted

until 15.12.2012 

via the Conftool-software on our website http://ethnography2013.uni.lu.

The abstract including the title of the contribution should not exceed 300 words. It can be submitted in English or German. After acceptance, an English version of the abstract must be delivered.

In the process of submission, conftool will ask you at first to specify the type of contribution to which your abstract relates. It is possible to submit several abstracts, but each has to be inserted separately.

Besides the title of your contribution and the names of all contributors and their institutional affiliations, you will be asked to insert up to five keywords which indicate the relation of your contribution to the conference theme. 

A scientific committee decides on the acceptance of the submitted contributions.

Scientific committee

  • Prof. Dennis Beach, PhD., University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Dipl. Päd. Sabine Bollig, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Prof. Liz Brooker, PhD., University of London, UK
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Göhlich, Friedrich-Alexander-University Nürnberg-Erlangen, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Michael-Sebastian Honig, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Prof. Dr. Herbert Kalthoff, Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Eva Nadai, University of Applied Science Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland
  • Dr. Sascha Neumann, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Prof. Dr. Patrick Sunnen, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg


  • Luxembourg-Grund, Abbaye de Neumünster
    Luxembourg City, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (L-2160)


  • Saturday, December 15, 2012


  • ethnography, education, educational fields, multimodality, multilingualism, translocality


  • Bollig Sabine
    courriel : sabine [dot] bollig [at] uni [dot] lu

Information source

  • Bollig Sabine
    courriel : sabine [dot] bollig [at] uni [dot] lu


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Multi.Pluri.Trans. Emerging Fields in Educational Ethnography », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, December 17, 2012, https://doi.org/10.58079/mf5

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