An Ethnographic Eye
It is often excellent ethnographic research that distinguishes scholars studying abroad from travel bloggers and tourists. According to Bochner and Ellis, "Ethnographers inscribe patterns of cultural experience; they give perspective on life. They interact; they take note, they photograph, moralize and write." This, too, is our task this semester. Our intellectual, experiential and research mission demands keen attention to surroundings, behaviors, movements, sounds and smells. As we study and travel together, our goal is to produce a coherent, seamless research essay that brings myriad experiences together and gives them meaning. Meaning comes from our focus--the one aspect of culture that spawns an intellectual and creative fire in us. It is that particular aspect of culture we want to examine and explore closely. Through reading, research and actual experience in francophone cultures, we will generate a multitude of possibilities for essay topics.