Experimental Ethnography Exhibition, Fall 2020

Presenting the original work of 20 Undergraduate Researchers
ANT 385W “Experimental Ethnography” (Vidali)
150+ hours of interviews and participant-observation research*
with over 100 people from all walks of life & all around the world 
(*done safely during a pandemic!)

>>Follow the various links below to see the different projects!

Life during COVID-Coping Mechanisms
Baylee Walls, Jenna Hahn, Kat Pitts, Rosie Gertzman (link)

ping with COVID: Perspectives on Navigating a Pandemic
Phoebe Einzig-Roth, Leah Behm, Olivia Bautista, Sammy Greben (link)

Black Lives Matter: A Student Experience
Jemila Mussa, Abhi Manda, Agastya Vaidya, Laura Pollack (link)

Anti-Racism, #BLM, Civic Engagement and Protest

Charita Sodagum, Joy Min, Mikail Albritton, Aiyanna Sisneros (link, pw: vidali)

The Intersections of Community and Public Space in Cities

Natalie McGrath (link)
Cassidy Goldsmith, Ellie Cottrill, Louie Martir (link)


TEAM 1 Life during COVID-Coping Mechanisms

The body serves as a map for the rest of the project and strategically includes a brain which symbolizes mental health, a heart that symbolizes family relations, a stomach which represents food and nutrition choices, and a hand holding a phone which symbolizes social media. Each member of the group focused on one of these areas, interviewing and conducting Participatory Observation on self-selected samples of people to determine how COVID-19 and quarantine affected experiences. All group members worked to determine if and how these four topics served as coping mechanisms during the time of the pandemic. The social media hand has proven to be a way that people dissociate from their lives, connect with friends, and keep up with the world in a time of isolation and boredom, but it has also taken a toll on mental health. The heart represents the influence family dynamics has had in regard to coping with times of stress, self-awareness, and unprecedented circumstances. The stomach demonstrates Emory student’s relationship with food and nutrition in a COVID interrupted world and found that food plays a determining factor in mental health and coping. The brain represents the impact that social isolation and current events have had on mental health, as well as the activities that have helped people cope during these challenging times. Together, we have found that life during COVID-19 varied, but everyone worked to find a Coping Mechanism to deal with the stresses of hard time within the realm of study. 

Baylee Walls
The Heart

Kat Pitts
The Stomach 

Jenna Hahn
The Mind

Rosie Gertzman
The Hand


Coping with COVID: Perspectives on Navigating a Pandemic

Our ethnographic work reflects the universal, yet highly individualized experiences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight how the lives of various groups of focus have changed during the pandemic, with each individual turning to different coping mechanisms and finding themselves changed in different ways all while struggling through similar situations of quarantine, social distancing, online learning and more. Our main areas of focus include the student and educator perspective with regard to remote learning, the experience of individuals who tested positive for COVID, and a more general analysis of how young people have adjusted to life during a pandemic. We hope to shed light on how life has changed for the better or worse with respect to our focus on school, disease status, and more. Our installed project is a museum exhibit that showcases the experiences of each of our focus groups within a common space. The use of murals, short fiction stories, banners, poetry, and live performance is intended to highlight the different perspectives and experiences we found but we showcase these pieces together as the pandemic has united us all in a common struggle. We hope that through our ethnographic work visitor’s will get a sense of how COVID has changed us all, and sheds light on the multitude of ways that people cope with the pandemic.

Phoebe Einzig-Roth
Patient Perspective

Olivia Bautista
Student Perspective 

Leah Behm
Teacher Perspective

Sammy Greben
Student & Frontline Perspective

Black Lives Matter: A Student Experience

We researched the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism at Emory University. We are exploring different aspects of this movement, through the lens of social media, underclassmen, upperclassmen, and greek life to have a better grasp of Emory student’s perceptions of the movement. Understanding these different perspectives is important in understanding how different populations at Emory interpret the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the extent that the movement has impacted our subject population (based on our limited sample). With respect to protests, the conversations revealed many common themes,  including frustration at the existing criminal justice system and a sense of social responsibility to support the movement in some way; ethnographic insights were collected relating to the way that students process social movements and stressful current events. With respect to social media, I discovered that it has been a positive outlet during this vital moment in history and has given students at Emory a place to share their experiences as well as have a voice. The main takeaway from my research is that white people benefit from Greek life more than POC do. This happens because of formal, institutional, and national policies and informal biases and stereotypes that favor white people. Furthermore, socioeconomic status frames friend groups and results in the stratification of social groups on Emory’s campus. Moreover, the transition to remote learning has disproportionately affected individuals of lower socioeconomic status because of technological barriers. 

Jemila Mussa
Impacts of the BLM Movement on Greek Life 

Abhi Manda
Outcomes Related to Socioeconomic Factors in Emory Underclassmen during the BLM Movement​

Agastya Vaidya
BLM Protests and Emory Students

Laura Pollack
Black Lives Matter Through A Screen


Anti-Racism, #BLM, Civic Engagement and Protest (pw: vidali)

Our burning issue is racism in the U.S. during the Trump presidency, under the scope of the BLM movement. Individually, we have chosen research questions relating to this broader theme to further analyze different aspects of racism, the BLM movement, civic engagement and protest. We thought that this would allow for further research and observation on how different populations are affected, how they are engaged, and their understanding of this tumultuous time in American history.

Charita Sodagum
The New Dark Age: Daily Injustices and Their Long Lasting Impacts 

Joy Min
Double Edged Sword: The Model Minority in the BLM Movement Context and Social Media Protests 

Mikail Albritton
Inheritable Trauma and Impactful Change in the Trump Era

Aiyanna Sisneros
Duality of Social Media Protest: Student Engagement in the BLM Movement


TEAM 5 The Intersections of Community and Public Space in Cities

Our group is researching the impact and significance of public space on communities in different cities throughout The United States. We are specifically looking at malls, parks, transportation, and monuments and how these spaces facilitate community engagement and interactions among strangers. Our locations range from New York City, to California, D.C., and Atlanta. We used a variety of ethnographic forms to create and present our research: creative nonfiction, collage, sonic ethnography, poetry, and video. As a team we are interested in the following questions: How can public spaces shape community interactions, and why do we care? How do relationships to public space differ between individuals? How has the COVID pandemic impacted these interactions in public spaces? 

Part 1:  Natalie McGrath
Performance on Public Transportation: Community Engagement and Interaction 

Part 2:  link

Cassidy Goldsmith
The Impact of Public Spaces on Community and Wellbeing in Atlanta vs Washington D.C.

Ellie Cottrill
The Meaning of Malls in Atlanta vs Northern California  

Louie Martir
The Relationship between Monuments and Public Spaces