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CfP Speculative Worldings: Ethnographic Storytelling beyond Judgement

Speculative WorldingsVisualizar a imagem
Créditos: © Michael MacDonald

Guest editors: Michael B MacDonald (MacEwan University, Canada) & Darío Ranocchiari (Universidad De Granada, Spain)

Extended Deadline: 31/12/2023.

Accepted languages for submissions: Portuguese, English, Spanish, French

In the much-cited work on Ethnographic Film, Karl G. Heider (2006) bases the value of the cine-ethnographic work in its ethnographicness, a device introduced to develop “ways to judge ethnographicness in film” (2006: x). This move was used to ensure that cine-ethnography or ethnographic film can maintain its relevance for ethnographic science. In a short section on ethnographic fiction film, he writes: “The major strength of the ethnographic fiction film is its ability to focus on peak events of interpersonal relationships and so to explore in detail the dynamics of emotions as they are played out. The danger is that the cultural context may be ethnocentric and shallow...Can fiction create truth?” (Heider 2006: 27). But what if ethnofiction is not fiction but instead speculative worldings that are marked with danger signs before we know what they can do?

Speculative worldings can be launched from the observation that ethnographic production (cinema, writing, theatre, audio, new digital forms) does not have to be restricted to ‘realism’ or 'postrealism'. Johannes Sjöberg and Alexandra D’Onofrio have noted that: “The most conventional methods of fieldwork have also been challenged as they have become insufficient in exploring the often intangible and ever fleeting realms of imagination, which cannot be captured through verbal exchange and participatory observation alone” (Sjoberg and D’Onofrio 2020: 733). Perhaps realism is a concept of modernity/coloniality (Mignolo 2021) that closes down the futurity of speculative worldings?

As Donna Haraway has noted: “It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with...It matters what worlds make worlds, what worlds make stories” (2016: 12). Realism may perhaps be a story that stories stories, a worlding that worlds worlds. Instead of judging ethnographies by standards of realism perhaps it can be more generative to ask: what can ethnography do when social actors work collectively and collaboratively to tell stories? To ask this is to inquire about the work of speculative worldings beyond judgment.

Ethnographers, artists, artist-researchers working with speculative worldings in any form are encouraged to submit their work. Some areas of inquiry could be:

  • Histories of ethnofiction

  • Realism/Postrealism

  • Ethnography and futurity

  • Research-creation, ethnography, fiction

  • Art-based research and ethnography

  • Ethnofiction and practice-based research

  • Cinematic ethnofiction/CineWorlding

  • Critical engagement with theories of truth, authority, and performativity

  • Contemporary art practices and ethnography

  • Ethnography of fictional worlds

  • Fiction and worldings

  • Scriptwriting and ethnography

  • Audio plays and ethnography

  • Theatre production and ethnography

  • Collaborative methods in ethnofiction

  • Ethnography and game design

For submission rules and section policies see the journal’s website ( Questions regarding the suitability of topics, editorial expectations, etc. may be directed to the guest editors (

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