Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ethnographic and Scientific Storytelling

when 1 July 2023 - 15 July 2023
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1050

Storytelling is a creative act, an imaginative performance and a political articulation that embodies lived experiences.

We use the power of stories to share how the differences, pains, pleasures and happiness of others can be narrated. Our scientific storytelling combines creative non-fiction writing, theoretical thinking and ethnographic sensibilities. Therefore, we base our hands-on anthropology on learning-by-doing. Our hands-on anthropology moves beyond disciplinary limits and includes anyone with interests in sociocultural interactions and lived experiences. It makes no difference if you are a student of medicine, arts or social sciences, we believe you can tell stories through skills that you will gain through this course.

It is difficult to argue with the simple principle of ‘stories matter’ but then the question is how to tell the stories and remain faithful to those who share their stories with scientists and researchers. Students who conduct fieldwork and collect narratives, as well as interviews for their research, are familiarised with the troublesome task of turning the collected data into academically appealing stories.

This course engages with visual anthropology, anthropological thoughts, creative writing and principles of reflexivity to teach students scientific storytelling. It guides students through how to how to tell stories and form scientific inquiry in collaboration with interlocutors, informants and civil society activists.

Students of social sciences, cultural studies, social work, law and business administration with interest in fieldwork, ethnography and interviews will learn how to use their own life experience and background to share their research and stories from the field. The course concentrates on how ethnographers and researchers carry out the process of their creative writing and storytelling.

Course leader

Younes Saramifar

Target group

Join this course if you like to imagine another world is possible. This course is for those with interests in scientific storytelling, conducting interviews and ethnographic fieldwork. The course is especially useful for students who need to learn academic writing and struggle with anthropological methodologies.

PhD staff and professionals are also welcome to apply.

Course aim

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

- Explain what ethnography is and why reflexivity is the fundamental principle of fieldwork-based research.
- Articulate and write a creative, reflective and relevant story.
- Understand the role of visual content in anthropological writings.

Credits info

3 EC
45 contact hours

Fee info

EUR 1050: Tuition fees two-week course:

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €700
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €950
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €1050
Professionals €1250

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

Register for this course
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