We are excited to announce Watching Closely: A Guide to Ethnographic Observation by Christena Nippert-Eng (October 2015 Oxford University Press). Her book is based on the “Exercises in Behavioral Observation” course she taught to ID students for many years at Lincoln Park Zoo. The book features the work of ID students Jorge Angarita, Kristine Angell, Lauren Braun, Betina De Gorordo, Caroline DeWick, Jim Hornor, Gitte Waldman Jonsdatter, Karolina Kohler, David LaPorte, Eugene Limb, Sally Wong Limb, Sarah Norell, Chiho Sasaki, John Shin, Jennifer Sculley, Mark Supert, Jeff Turkelson, Helen Wills, and Janice Wong.
About the book
Although observation is an essential part of any fieldworker’s toolkit, many ethnographers’ observational skills tend to be their weakest. Watching Closely provides a practical, interactive guide for honing one's powers of observation. The book contains nine exercises for practicing different forms of observation, including preparatory briefings and post-exercise discussions. Sample responses from former students with commentary appear in the book’s companion website. From social and behavioral scientists to user-centered designers and architects, undergraduate students to experienced fieldworkers, Watching Closely is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to develop their skills as a fieldworker.
There is also a companion website with samples of former students' responses to the exercises.
Christena Nippert-Eng is a sociologist and Professor of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington.