Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hands-On Anthropology and Ethnographic Storytelling

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 16 July 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 700

Ethnography or what Clifford Geertz called ‘deep-hanging out’ (1998) is becoming an increasingly popular research method among the main social science disciplines like anthropology and sociology. Ethnography provides a unique perspective which helps to explain the complexities of our everyday lives. This course will present such complexities in an exciting, and accessible manner, so as to keep the content engaging. The bulk of the course is based on the combination of storytelling with ethnographic methodologies and theory. The multidisciplinary approach will help students to think outside the box regarding how to convert collected data, observations, and field notes into enticing stories that are both scientifically convincing and socially relevant.
This course stresses learning through the lens of through the practice of storytelling, with regards to anthropology. Practical anthropology brings together reflexivity and academic research to show how students can turn their field-notes and observations into coherent narratives which are scientifically valid.

Students of the course will work closely with artists, social workers and practitioners, discussing both methodologies and writing styles. Then, students will do a short piece of coursework, under the supervision of the course coordinator, before starting to write their ethnographic stories. The students will be guided during writing workshops and nature walks all the while learning how to incorporate sensory elements and develop their storytelling skills.

The students will learn how to weave narratives with an anthropological perspective by way of ethnographic storytelling, but without reducing the world into a construct of their imaginations. This aspect of the course highlights the political importance narrative and storytelling by encouraging students to remain culturally sensitive regarding the stories they gather from their interviewees and correspondence.

Course leader

Dr. Younes Saramifar

Target group

Students and professionals in the field of social sciences and behavioural studies, humanities, Business Administration, Medical consultancy and Social work with an interest in human behaviour, fieldwork, ethnography, interviews and storytelling. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course aim

At the end of this course, you:
- Are familiar with research methods and crafting styles in scientific inquiry.
- Have acquired fieldwork abilities and strengthened your skills in culturally sensitive research and analysis.
- Grasp the power of biography and representation embedded within stories.
- Have gained experience in collaborative storytelling and making digital visual narratives.
- Can reflect on the idea of “empowerment through participation” and address power inequalities in your research.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 45
Do you want to make the most out of your summer? You can combine this course with a course in session 2 to create a 4-week summer school.

Fee info

EUR 700: The tuition fee of a two-week online course depends on your situation and ranges from €700-950. This tuition fee includes:
- Two week course;
- Exclusive content for a limited number of students;
- Transcript of records with a maximum of 3 ECTS (European study credits);
- Certificate of attendance after completing the course;
- Individual/group guidance from professor;
- Interactive classes;
- Full support from the summer school team;
- Social activities (online)


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers three kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship, the Photographer Scholarship and the Vlogger/Videographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

Register for this course
on course website