Writing Up Ethnography

PhD-course with Yasmin Cho and Trine Brox on 20 April.


The course brings together a small group of PhD-fellows (5-7 participants), creating a space where we can learn about each other's ethnographic material, and read and discuss how to write up ethnography. We will work with four themes, relating how one write up ethnographic data relating each theme, and we ask each participating PhD-fellows to select two themes and to submit a piece of writing for each of the two selected themes (300-1500 words per theme). The workshop is predicated upon the pre-circulation of the papers one week ahead of the PhD-course. The themes are (1) scenery, the field, public space, (2) interview, oral history, (3) objects, non-human things, and (4) ethics.

Jotting down fieldnotes by solar-powered lamps in Yachen Gar, a Tibetan monastic encampment that had no electricity at the time. Photo by Yasmin Cho.

All participating PhD-fellows are expected to read the other participants' writings. You will also be given six short texts (100 pages in total) to read, three about ethnographic writing, and three introductions to monographs.

The language of the course will be English.

Important dates

  • Sign up by 1 April 2021
  • Hand in your papers by 13 April 2021
  • Participate on 20 April 2021

Contact the PhD-coordinator Trine Brox if you want to sign up and if you would like more information about the course plan, the four themes, and the readings.

The PhD-course is taught and organized by Yasmin Cho and Trine Brox.


Yasmin Cho has a PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University and a Master of Law from Peking University. She has been teaching anthropology at Duke University, Sichuan University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan. Between 2016 and 2019, Yasmin taught MA courses in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University, which included "Making Ethnography: Method and Writing," "Social Theory & Contemporary Questions" and "Principles and Applications in Social and Cultural Anthropology".

During fall 2019, Yasmin Cho joined ToRS as a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies at ToRS. She has worked on materiality, mobility, and gender with a special focus on Tibetan Buddhist nuns in monastic encampments in China (Yachen Gar). Her publications have looked at the lives of Tibetan nuns from the perspectives of their material and mundane engagements in the Tibetan Buddhist revival in post-Mao Tibet. Her current project at the CCBS, "Wired: the role of infrastructure in the Tibetan Buddhist revival in contemporary China," examines the infrastructural (dis)connections in Sino-Tibetan Buddhist relationships.

Trine Brox is an Associate Professor and the PhD-coordinator at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS). Currently, she is writing about the aesthetics and materials of Buddhism based upon both ethnographic research, archival work, and translation.