1. Celebrating Ravindra Jain: A conversation in conjunction with the publication of Michael Herzfeld's Subversive Archaism

Ravindra Jain, Michael Herzfeld, Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

2. Beauty and the Beast: Political Logic and the Limits of Tolerance in the Refashioning of Old Bangkok

Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University) Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

3. Slavery in the Heart of Freedom: Race, Religion, and Politics through the lens of BDSM - Colloquium by The Centre of Ethnography

J. Lorand Matory, Duke University, November 12, 2021 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

4. Gota a Gota - Drop by Drop: Forced Displacement, Financialization, and Life in the

Aftermath of Conflict by Gloria C. Pérez-Rivera.  Wednesday March 31, 2021, 1-3 p.m.,

Details to follow.

5.  Writing Icons of Jesus in Palestine: Ritual Poiesis and the Revelation of Mystery by Connie Gagliardi.

Wednesday March 17th, 2021, 1-3 p.m.  Details to follow.

6.  Aid and the Aids Tree: Enduring Stigma, Refusing Shame in Northern Uganda by Sarah O'Sullivan. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 1-3 p.m.  Join Zoom Meeting, Meeting ID: 889 3092 6953,  Passcode: XgLt4j

7.  "Familial and Collective Histories" by Sadie Barnette.  Wednesday November 25, 2020, 1-3 p.m.

Register here

8.  "We are Still Here: Presence in Absence" by Hu'o'ng Ngô.  Wednesday November 18, 2020, 1-3 p.m.

Register here

9.  Distinguished Lecture, John L. Jackson  "What Scholarship Looks and Sounds Like: Toward

an Auto-ethnography of Multimodality" October 23, 2020, 10.00 - 11.00 p.m., ZOOM, RSVP

There will also be two informal Zoom “chats” after the lecture:

  • · Q & A and informal talk with undergrad and grad students, 11am-noon
  • · Conversation with faculty, 1-2pm



1.  Rituals of Posession, Castes and Ethnics of Leadership in North Kerala with

Vincent Brillant-Giroux, Postdoctoral fellow - Wed October 9th, 2019  3-4.30 p.m., HL348

2. Vital Bodies, Natural Cures:  The Interiority of Self-Healing in Kerala with Victoria Sheldon -

Wed November 6th, 2019 3-4.30 p.m., HL348

3. Lera Gasy vs. Zhongguo Sudu Perception of Time in Chinese-Malagasy Encounters with

Mingyuan Zhang, CE Writing Fellow - Wed November 13, 2019  3-4.30 p.m., HL348

4. "This is very old":  The African canon and market in a Cameroonian village" with Sylvia Forni,

Senior Curator, African Arts and Culture, Royal Ontario Museum.  Thursday January 23, 2020 11-1 p.m.,


5.  "A New ethics of Care of Collections" with Dr. Cara Krmpotich, Museum Studies, Faculty of

Information, University of Toronto.  Thursday Feb 27, 2020, 11-1 p.m., HL348

6.  "Anticommunist Supplemets: Religion and Politics in South Korea" with Angie Heo, University of

Chicago, Divinity School and the College, 2020 Connaught Visiting Fellow, University of Toronto.

Friday March 20, 2020, 11.00 - 1.00 p.m., HL348

7. "The Repatriation of Ts'Msyen Cultural Heritage with Dr. Robin R.R. Gray (Ts'msyen/Cree), Department

of Sociology, University of Toronto.  Thurs March 26th, 2020, 11-1 p.m., HL348

8.  Distinguished Lecture, with John L. Jackson  "What Scholarship Looks and Sounds Like: Toward

an Auto-ethnography of Multimodality" Monday April 6, 2020, 2.00 - 4.00 p.m., HLB101 POSTPONED


1.  Mutombo Da Poet - Spoken word seminar

Tues Sept 11, 1-3p.m., MW130

2. Gacaca Courts and the Violent Aftermaths of Genocide in the New Rwanda

with Mark Anthony Geraghty, PhD - Wed Oct 17th, 2018  10-12 in MW296

3.  On the Matter of Absence: Contented (Im)materialities in the Cases of Mexico's Disappeared

with Miranda Dahlin, CE Fellowship in Ethnograph Writing.  Wed Nov 21st, 10-12 noon, HL348

4.  The Dream The Brain with Johanna Pokorny, Ce Fellowship in Ethnograph Wrirting.

Wed Nov 28th 12-12 noon, HL348

5.  Life and Death of Ghata Jheel: Arid Hydrology in an Agrarian-Urban Frontier with Shubhra Gururani,

Assoicate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, York University - March 20, 2019  3-5 in HL348

6.  DISTINGUISHED LECTURE - The Stigmatization of Cousin Marriage in Nineteenth-Century America:

Transforming the Political-Medical-Hereditary Contours of the National Body Politic with Susan McKinnon,

Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia - March 27, 2019, 6-8 p.m. MW170

7.  Space and Identity: Scarborough Stories with Carrianne Leung, PhD, 2019 UTSC Writer-in-Residence -

April 3, 2019, 3-5 p.m. HL348


1.  Ethnographic Photography Workshop, with Glubin Ozdamar Akarcay

May 17, 2017

2.  Monday February 12, 2018  3:00 - 5:00 p.m. MW296

Professor Jacqueline Solway  The Predicament of Adulthood in Botswana

3.  Monday March 12, 2018  3:00 - 5:00 p.m. MW296

Marco Motta   The Adjacent Worlds of Adults: Forms of skepticism in The Sounds of the Fury

3.  Monday March 19, 2018  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.  MW296

Professor Donna Young  The Family Gothic

4.  Monday April 9th, 2018  6:00 - 7:30 p.m., MW170

Centre for Ethnography Annual Distinguished Lecture

Professor Sherry Ortner  Fraud, and the tangled relationship between Kinship and Capitalism:  The Case of Bernie Madoff

2016 - 2017

1. Thursday September 29th 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., MW296

Professor Rosemary Coombe (York University) - Canadian Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture -

Title:  Informational Capital and its Cultures: The Work of Distinction in Neoliberal Economies

Reception to follow in the Faculty Lounge (BV380) 3:00 - 4:45 p.m.

2.  Thursday October 6th, 2016 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. MW296

CE Fellow Koreen Reece

Title:  Telling Families,Telling Aid: Kinship and Narratives of Crisis in Botswana

3.  Thurs October 20th 3:00 - 3:45 p.m., MW296

Professor Brian Larkin (Barnard College, Columbia Univeristy)

Title:  Media Form & Religious Movements

- Reception to follow in the Faculty Lounge (BV380) 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

(Co-sponsored with the Historical and Cultural Studies Department)

4.  Thursday October 27th, 2016, AA160

Professor Sharika Thiranagama (Stanford University)

(Details to follow-hosted by the Tamil Worlds Initiative)

Title:  Resettling Jaffna:  Ethnic and Caste Relation in Post War Sir Lanka

5.  Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, MW296

CE Fellow Letha Victor

Title:  Spectres and Spoiled Heads: Trauma and Legibility in Acholi, Uganda

6.  Tuesday, November 15th 11:00 - 1:00p.m., MW229

Professor Paul Manning (Trent University)

Title:  Animating Virtual Worlds

2015 - 2016

Diaspeiro:  Migrations, Movements, Mobilities

To view the exhibition on

Tuesday December 3, 2015, doors open 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., MW296

Webb Keane

"Religion and the Making of Morality Systems"

Friday January 29, 2016, 3-5 p.m. MW110 UTSC

The Blindspot of Hope

Prof. Eric Cazdyn (University of Toronto)

Monday March 7, 2016, 10-12, MW324

Divine Minimum Wage:  An Islamic Ethnics of Giving in (Post) Uprising Egypt

Amira Mittermaier, University of Toronto

Monday March 21, 2016, 10-12 p.m., MW296

Prisons as Houses and Houses as Prisons: Gender, Confinement, and Congugal Visitation in Northeast Brazil

Hollis Moore, CE Fellow

Wednesday March 30, 2016, 2-4 p.m., MW296


Migrating South:  Producing Knowledge with a Migratory Insect

Columba Gonzalez, CE Fellow

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 2-4 pm, MW296


2013 - 2014

1. Hammering the Devil with Prayer

By Professor Thomas Csordas

Tuesday October 22, 2013

Dr. Thomas Csordas is a cultural anthropologist at the University of California San Diego whose principal interests are in medical anthropology and psychological anthropology, comparative religion, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change. He has conducted ethnographic research with Charismatic Catholics, Navajo Indians, and adolescents in the American Southwest on topics including the therapeutic process in religious healing, techniques of the body, and the experiences of psychiatric inpatients. He is the author of The Sacred Self: A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing (1994), Language, Charisma, and Creativity: The Ritual Life of a Religious Movement (1997), Body, Meaning, Healing (2002). He has also edited several important collections of essays, including Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self (1994).

2. A Convergence of Interests? Corporate Social Responsibility and the Creation of “Shared Value” in Bangalore’s Garment Industry

By Nicole Rigillo, Fellow in Ethnographic Writing at the Centre for Ethnography

Tuesday November 5, 2013

3. The People’s Car: The Beetle as Fetish

By Alejandra Gonzalez Jimenez, Fellow in Ethnographic Writing at the Centre for Ethnography

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter 2014

In the winter term we mounted our annual Speakers Series, which is linked to Frontiers of Socio-Cultural Anthropology (ANTD15H3). The subject of this year’s capstone course was “Life Itself” and was organized and taught by Professor Sandra Bamford.

4. Technologies of Birth and Transfers of Care: Ni-Vanuatu Nurses and the Materialities of Modernity

By Sandra Widmer (York University)

Monday February 3rd 2014

5. The Stuff of Life: Mysteries of Blood and Connection from Malaysian Clinical Pathology Labs

By Janet Carsten (University of Edinburgh)

Monday March 3rd  2014 – Distinguished Lecture

6. After Life

By Michael Lambek (Canada Research Chair in the Anthropology of Ethical Life, University of Toronto Scarborough)

Monday March 24th  (MW324) (12:00 – 2:00 PM) (Lunch served)

In addition to these talks the Centre for Ethnography co-sponsored the following talk:

With that, discipline will also come to them”: The Politics of the Urban Poor in Post-war Colombo

By Jonathan Spencer (Professor of Anthropology of South Asia, University of Edinburgh)

Respondent: Rajyashree Reddy (UTSC)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Co-sponsored by Tamil Worlds Initiative, Historical and Cultural Studies UTSC, and the Centre for Ethnography UTSC.


The Centre for Ethnography hosted two workshops this year, including:

1.  Travel and Translation in the Jewish World. This event was co-sponsored and hosted by both the Centre for Ethnography and the JHI Program for the Arts on Translation and Multiplicity of Languages. The lectures contributed to the themes of travel and translation for the Jewish diaspora, with close attention paid to the translation and reception of ideas and texts in the early twentieth century. Jack Kugelmass examined the war correspondence of Yiddish-speaking reporters who fought during the Spanish civil war, and Galit Hasan-Rokem looked at the trope of the “Wandering Jew”, first found in Medieval European legends and then incorporated in modern German fiction.

Lectures included:

YIDDISH ON THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN: Memory, Travel and War Reportage

By Jack Kugelmass (Melton Legislative Professor and Director, Center for Jewish Studies, Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida)

Respondents: Galit Hasan Rokem (Hebrew University and Rutgers); Alejandro Paz (UTSC)

Monday March 31st, 2014 at the Centre for Ethnography UTSC

Jack Kugelmass is the editor of Jews, sports and the Rites of Citizenship (Illinois UP, 2006), Key Texts in American Jewish Culture (Rutgers UP, 2003), Going Home: How American Jews Invent the Old Country (Northwestern UP, 1993), and author of The Miracle of Intervale Avenue: The Story of a Jewish Congregation in the South Bronx (Columbia UP, 1996) and co-author of From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewery (Indianna UP, 1998), Let There Be Laughter (Spertus Museum, 1997), and Masked Culture: The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (Columbia UP, 1994). He is currently working on a book on twentieth-century Yiddish travelogues.   

TRAVEL AS CURSE AND PROMISE: The Wandering Jew from Medieval Legend to Modern Symbol

By Galit Hasan-Rokem (Max and Margarethe Grunwald Professor of Folklore (Emerita)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and  2014 Visiting Scholar, The Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, Rutgers University)

Respondents: Jack Kugelmass (Florida) and Anna Shternshis (Toronto)

Tuesday, April 1st , 2014 at the Jackman Humanities Institute.

Galit Hasan-Rokem’s publications include a number of scholarly books in Hebrew and English, on folklore – especially in Rabbinic literature; on feminist poetry in Hebrew; and on other related topics, numerous scholarly articles, as well as three volumes of poetry in Hebrew, partly published in English translations. She is the author of Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (University of California Press 2003) and Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature (Stanford UP, 2000). Among her publications in English are the co-edited volumes Jewish Women in Pre-State Israel: Life History, Politics, and Culture ( Brandeis UP 2008); the bilingual The Defiant Muse –Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present (The Feminist Press at the University of New York, 1999); The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of Christian Legend (Indiana UP, 1986); and the Companion to Folklore (Wiley-Blackwell 2012).

2. The 9th Madagascar Workshop

The Madagascar Workshop was a two-day workshop held at the University of Toronto, April 7-8, 2014. The workshop aims to bring together anthropologists, historians and other scholars who share an interest in Madagascar and its diaspora, and to provide a forum for participants to share current research and ideas. This year’s workshop included a keynote address by Dr. Maurice Bloch of the London School of Economics and a total of 19 presentations from scholars from around the world, bringing together work in the fields of archaeology, ecology, history, language and culture in Madagascar. The workshop included a presentation of Malagasy music and dance by Tsingory Dance Troupe and a tour of the exhibit “Born of the Indian Ocean: The Silks of Madagascar” at the Royal Ontario Museum. The workshop included breakfast, lunch and refreshments and two organized workshop dinners for participants.  The final program  and report is attached.

Fellowships in Ethnographic Writing

The Centre for Ethnography was delighted to award two Fellowships in Ethnographic Writing in the fall term to Nicole Rigillo and Alejandra González Jiménez.

1. Nicole Rigillo is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department at

McGill University. Her doctoral research is situated at the intersection of the anthropology of economics, medicine, and knowledge, and examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a novel form of governance in Bangalore, India. Her dissertation situates ethnographic accounts of CSR programs providing various forms of support to populations defined as “in need” within a historical analysis of shifts in techniques of welfare provision in Mysore State (present-day Karnataka) throughout the twentieth century.  Through explorations of local and transnational CSR programs aiming to empower and improve the health of urban female garment factory workers, the residents of a rural district, and children attending government schools across Bangalore, she gestures to the diverse ways in which the logic and practice of CSR is forging novel relations of responsibility and forms of personhood in India today, and modifying the meaning of society and the market in the process.

2. Alejandra González Jiménez is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation entitled Volkswagen de México: The Car as National Fetish, ethnographically examines capitalism by looking at concrete and mundane car-related practices: the manufacturing, engineering, driving, and collecting of cars. Through these practices she elucidates the ways in which capitalism is continuously made, remade, and unmade in the everyday. She explores the intersections between capitalism and national projects of development, as well as how these two abstract processes are embedded in concrete social practices, aspirations, affective attachments, promises, and hopes. Alejandra is a Mellon Mays Fellow and holds the John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship from the American Philosophical Society. 

CE Support for Anthropology Graduate Students

The Centre for Ethnography UTSC has contributed to a number of graduate student events, including the Annual MEDUSA Graduate Conference; and the AAA rehearsal of graduate papers. And the CE has generously provided funds to two students completing their doctoral fieldwork in Uganda and France, respectively.

CE Support for Other Initiatives

The Centre for Ethnography made a financial contribution to “South Africa Twenty Years Later”, a conference hosted by the Department of Geography and City Studies at UTSC May 2-4, 2014.


Speakers Series: The Anthropology of Morality and Ethics

Speakers for the autumn will include: Anne Meneley (Trent University); Naisargi Dave (University of Toronto);  Malini Sur (CE Fellow UTSC); Amira Mittermaier (University of Toronto)

Distinguished Guest: Henrietta Moore, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, a renowned anthropologist of Africa and theorist of gender, intimacy, and social change

Fellowships in Ethnographic Writing: Dr. Malani Sur (PhD University of Amsterdam) and Asli Zengin (Doctoral student Department of Anthropology UT)

Research Affiliates: Janet Hine (doctoral student, Princeton); Dr. Elizabeth Hall (independent scholar); Dr. Krista Maxwell (UT, post-doctoral fellow); Dr. Alexandra Widmer, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

2011 - 2012

Speakers Series: Traces: Anthropologies of History and Historicity.

Speakers included: Bhavani Raman (Princeton); Gavin Smith (UT);  Irene Silverblatt (Duke);  Rebekka King (CE Writing Fellow);  Merav Shohet (CE Writing Fellow).

Distinguished Guest: Dame Marilyn Strathern (former William Wyse Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Cambridge University and Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge) “Gifts Money Cannot Buy”, Tuesday Nov. 22

Fellowships in Ethnographic Writing: Dr. Merav Shohet (PhD UCLA) and Rebekka King (Doctoral Student Department of Religious Studies, UT)

Contributed funds to talks in the Department of Religious Studies: Matthew Engelke(LSC)

Affiliates: Juliana Beaudoin (PhD student, Western); Dr. Krista Maxwell (UT) post-doctoral fellow

Employed an undergraduate student as assistant to CE Director (Gloria Perez)


The 7th Madagascar Workshop was held at the University of Toronto, March 30-31, 2012.

This annual workshop aims to bring together anthropologists, historians and other scholars who share an interest in Madagascar and its diaspora, and to provide a forum for participants to share current research and ideas. The workshop is a collaboration between the Indian Ocean World Center at McGill, the department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and the Center for Ethnography at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

Workshop Organizers: Sarah Gould (University of Toronto); Sarah Fee (Royal Ontario Museum); Michael Lambek (University of Toronto)

The workshop programme and other information can be found on the Madagascar Workshop 2012 website:http://madagascarworkshop2012.wordpress.com


(Re-)placing the City: Sacralizing Migrant Materialities Workshop, held at the University of Toronto, April 12-13.

Organizers: Simon Coleman (University of Toronto) and Valentina Napolitano (University of Toronto)

The workshop programme and other information can be found on the website: www.humanities.utoronto.ca/event_details/id=667

2010 - 2011

Speakers Series: Pilgrimage Stories

Speakers included: TLKY Visiting Professor, William Tuladhar-Douglas (UTSC); Simon Coleman (Jackman Humanities Institute, UT); Ellen Badone(McMaster); Alejandro Paz (UTSC); Zoe Wool (UTSC, Centre for Ethnography Fellowship in Ethnographic Writing); Anne Meneley(Trent)

Distinguished Guest: Professor Emeritus Jonathan Parry (London School of Economics) This event was co-sponsored by the Group in Labour History (UT).

The CE hosted the inaugural Fellowship in Ethnographic Writing: Recipient Zoe Wool.

The CE hosted an inter-disciplinary research project, funded by CERIS (the Ontario Metropolis Centre), which examined the spatial distribution, housing contexts, and everyday citizenship practices of newcomers to the Kingston/Galloway/Orton Park (KGO) neighborhood, Scarborough. This was an interdisciplinary initiative with Geography, and in partnership with the East Scarborough Storefront. The CE funded the presentation of the students’ research findings in fall 2010 in an interactive workshop with the residents of the KGO community, as well as in an academic conference at UTSC.

The CE helped to sponsor the summer employment of two undergraduate students who created the first draft of a manual called “Reading Ethnographies”, intended for other undergraduates. The funds were provided by a Teaching Enhancement Grant, and matched by the Centre.

2009 - 2010

Speakers Series: Ethnographies of Masculinities

Speakers included: Julia Harrison (Trent); David Murray (York); Mary-Lee Mulholland (Univ. Ottawa).

Distinguished Guest: Hylton White (New School; now at Witswatersrand)

For the first time, the Speakers Series was tied to ANTD15 (Frontiers of Socio-cultural Anthropology)

The CE held its official opening by hosting a Collective Book Launch to celebrate ethnographic writing in the region. Ten recently published books were introduced:

  1. Sandra Bamford and James Leach, Editors. 2009. Kinship and Beyond: The Genealogical Model Reconsidered.Berghahn Books. (University of Toronto) – Introduced by Janice Boddy
  2. Alex Khasnabish. 2008. Zapatismo Borders: New Imaginations and Political Possibility. University of Toronto Press. (McMaster University) – Introduced by Irma Molina
  3. Dawn Martin-Hill. 2008. The Lubicon Lake Nation: Indigenous Knowledge and Power. University of Toronto Press.(McMaster University) – Introduced by Anna Kruglova
  4. Ruth Marshall. 2009. Political Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria.University of Chicago Press. (University of Toronto) – Introduced by Girish Daswani
  5. Lena Mortensen and Julie Hollowell, Editors.Ethnographies and Archaeologies: Iterations of the Past. University Press of Florida.(University of Toronto) – Introduced by Michael Chazan
  6. Kevin O’Neill. 2009.City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala City. University of California Press, Anthropology of Christianity Book Series. (University of Toronto) – Introduced by Pamela Klassen
  7. Tanya Richardson. 2008.Kaleidoscopic Odessa. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Wilfred Laurier University) – Introduced by Maureen Murney
  8. Todd Saunders. 2008. Beyond Bodies: Rainmaking and Sense Making in Tanzania. University of Toronto Press. (University of Toronto) – Introduced by Elena Jirovsky
  9. Albert Schrauwers. 2008.Union is Strength: WL Mackenzie, the Children of Peace and the Emergence of Joint Stock Democracy in Upper Canada. University of Toronto Press.(York University)
  10. Jesook Song. 2009. South Koreans in the Debt Crisis: The Creation of aNeoliberal  Welfare Society. Duke University Press. (University of Toronto) – Introduced by Andrea Muehlebach.

From the 2009 Summer Fieldwork Program, and the 2010 CERIS project several anthropology students went on to graduate school: Mac Graham (University of Toronto); Joey Youseff (University of Toronto); Deborah Hay (University of Toronto). Students also went on to other post-graduate programs: Maria Salman (University of Ottawa Law School), etc.

2008 - 2009

Inaugural Speakers Series: Ethnographies of the City

Speakers included: Ato Quayson (Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Toronto); Winnie Lem (Trent); Bonnie McElhinny (Toronto).

Distinguished Guest: Dan Smith (Brown).

In the summer of 2009, the CE hosted a Summer Fieldwork Experience program. Students conducted supervised ethnographic research in locations across greater Toronto. Their final papers were presented to a community of faculty and peers at the Student Ethnographic Research Seminar in October 2009. The success of this project inspired the creation of ANTD05, “Advanced Fieldwork Methods in Social and Cultural Anthropology”.

2007 - 2008

Canadian Research Chair on Ethical Life established for Michael Lambek (UTSC)

Inaugural Distinguished Guest: Veena Das (John Hopkins)