Module Identifier TFM0930  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Mikel Koven  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2 hours  
  Other   Fieldwork situation under supervision of the module co-ordinator.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1500-2000 Word essay Field notebooks, accompanied by a 1500-2000 word self-reflective essay on the field experience 30%30%
Semester Assessment 5,000 Word Essay Critical essay (5,000 words) applying your methodology to the field experience 70%70%

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

1.   understand and evaluate a range of ways of considering and conceptualizing cultural events and processes;
2.   critically grasp and deploy a range of ethnographic and observational means of research;
3.   work as part of a team to design, implement and analyse a small piece of ethnographic research into a live event.
4. provide critical accounts of the differences occasioned by different media and cultural traditions, and through this, arrive at an understanding of concepts such as `live-ness', `performativity' and `interactivity'.


While certain elements of this module are likely to change year-by-year depending on the field experience exercise organized, other elements are more standardized. The module itself breaks down into three sub-sections:
I. Overview: these sessions include overviews of ethnographic research as applied to audience and reception studies as well as introductory sessions on the cultural context we will be researching. For example, as we are currently studying film festival audiences, under this rubric, sessions will include an overview of existing film festival research, and an in-depth discussion on how to approach film festivals from an ethnographic perspective, based on existing ethnographic data.
II. Student Methodology Seminars: Each student is required to research a specific methodology, which they will be using in the field situation. Topics include, but are not limited to: ethnoscience/vernacular theory, rites of passage, auto-ethnography/experiential ethnography, dramaturgical approaches, audience response approaches, and proxemics. Students will present their methodology to the entire group.
III. Field Work: we go into the field for an extensive field situation research experience where students apply the methodologies they prepared for the seminars in the live situation. Depending on the research context chosen, there may need to be a debrief session upon return from the field.

Brief description

This module aims to introduce the methods and theories involved in ethnographic audience and reception research. It prepares students with the tools involved in working within live field situations. The module culminates in an extensive field research exercise wherein students use what they have learned with "real" audiences.


This module is one of four broadly interrelated modules which comprise the MA Audience + Reception Studies. This proposal is for a restructuring of the module in the light of three years┬┐ experience of running the MA, taking specific account of changes in staffing in the Department, and responding to the responses of three years of students. Its aim is to refocus the module onto engagement with ethnographic field methods and their application within Audience and Reception Studies. The methodological issues raised in this module aim to prepare students for an extensive multi-day field work exercise where students apply what they have learned in a live research situation

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Brewer, J.D. (2000) Ethnography Buckingham: Open UNiversity Press
Emerson, R, Fretz, R and Shaw, L. (1995) Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes Chicago University Press
NIghtingale, V. (1996) Studying Audiences: The Shock of the Real London: Routledge
Spradley, J. (1980) Participant Observation Belmont, CA: Thompson Learning
Spradley, J. (1979) The Ethnographic Interview Belmont, CA: Thompson Learning
van Maanen, J. (1988) Tales fro the Field: On Writing Ethnography Chicago University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 7