Reading: A Journey © 2005 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Donald Gensler. Used by permission.

This year, Penn GSE's Ethnography Forum will be combining with CAMRA's Screening Scholarship Media Festival and Penn's Experimental Ethnography for a student-led collaboration. Inspired by the “unconference” movement, this year’s meeting will focus on innovative media and formats; creative collaboration; peer-to-peer dialogues; and intimate conversations with key scholars, educators, performers and activists. 

Although the "EthnoFest" this year will be free to all, in order to facilitate meaningful and substantive conversations, there will be space for only 100 attendees. Those who wish to participate in this dialogue are encouraged to register as soon as possible and reserve a seat. For more information and to register, visit the CAMRA page.

  • Register for the full Friday-Saturday Program, with ALL special events: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Please consider registering for special events below.   We hope to  accomodate walk-ins, but please note that several sessions have a breakout/workshop format with a limited number of facilitators.  We thank you in advance for your understanding.
  • Register for the Friday Film-screening ONLY: LIMITED REGISTRATION
  • Register for the Saturday MOCAT Performance/Exhibit ONLY: LIMITED REGISTRATION

On Friday the 23rd, the information/registration desk will be at the Penn Museum.  On Saturday the 24th, the information/registration desk will be in the Hall of Flags at Houston Hall.  The traditional Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum/Practitioner Inquiry Day will resume in spring 2019.

A Sneak-Peek at EthnoFest 2018

The meeting will be held during the weekend of February 23-24, 2018 and will center around the theme: Whose Knowledge Counts? Research and Practice in Critical Times. Invited sessions will be uniquely structured to allow a conversation about both substantive domains, and how the “EthnoFest” can best provide a space for nurturing future scholars, practitioners, activists, educators, students, filmmakers and community partners. 

As there are only 100 open seats for attendance this year, participants are encouraged to participate in the full range of innovative activities on both days. Some details about the programming are available below, and a PDF of the program is available here.


Friday, February 23, 2:00 PM to 7:45 PM

  • Registration: Starting at 2:00 PM at the Penn Museum, please use the Kress Entrance.
  • Film Screening: Because of the War
  • Conversation with the Filmmaker and Artists: Youth, Precarity and Performance
  • Reception with the Artists and Conference Organizers

Saturday, February 24, 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM

  • Registration: Starting at 7:30 AM at the Houston Hall's Hall of Flags. 
  • Breakfast Conversations: Politics of Positionality and Power in Research
  • Breakout Dialogues: Locating the Activist in Academia
  • Teen Performance/Exhibit: Autoethnography and Multimodality: Youth Perspectives in Critical Times [featuring MoCAT]
  • Keynote: Ariana Mangual Figueroa
  • Panel: Ethics and Equity in Educational Research
  • Facilitated Workgroup: Humanizing Big Data, Evaluation and Assessment
  • Conference Reception
  • Facilitated Discussion: Is this a conference?
  • Conference Dinner



Conference Fast Facts

Looking Ahead

At this year’s gathering, we will consider together how the Forum and CAMRA can continue to nurture creative socially-engaged ethnographic work among a new generation of scholars, practitioners, activists, students, filmmakers, and community partners.

The traditional Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum/Practitioner Inquiry Day will resume in spring 2019.  A call for papers will be circulated and posted on this website in summer 2018.

Conference Leadership Team


Kathy Hall
Associate Professor 

2018 Student Coordinator

Jasmine Blanks Jones

2018 Planning Committee

OreOluwa Badaki, Osei Alleyne, Gordon "Dee" Asaah, Carmen Delgado, Jessica Peng, Rachael Stephens, Bethany Monea, Nora Gross, Tali Rosen, Marisa Gonzalez

Administrative Assistant

Suzanne Oh

Practitioner Inquiry Convenor

H. Gerald Campano
Associate Professor

In the Spirit of an Unconference

We aim to create more democratic dialogue with the recognition and appreciation for the deep knowledge each participant brings to our discussion.  Therefore, we ask that you join with us in opening up the space by flattening differences that can hinder the flow of conversation.  These are just a few ideas, but they should change based on who is in the room!

Social Locations

Each session will have a variety of panelists including an academic, a community practitioner or activist, and an artist or multimodal specialist.

Open Seat and Audience Participation

Each session may have an Open Seat intended for an audience member to join the main discussion at any time.  Other forms of audience participation will be experimental.

Name Badges

At registration, you will notice that name badges only list names, not affiliations, ranks or titles.  Given the spirit of this year’s EthnoFest -- and our overarching commitment to problematizing traditional power dynamics in academic knowledge production -- we made the decision to avoid using any honorifics (whether gendered titles, like ‘Ms.’ or ‘Mr,’ or those that indicate social standing/position, like ‘Doctor’ or ‘Dr.’) or any institutional affiliations. While we genuinely respect the work and experience that such titles often indicate, we have found that they can tacitly reinforce the tendency to privilege academic knowledge production at the expense of other forms of knowledge production. We hope everyone will feel like this decision helps generate a more egalitarian, transgressive space.

About the Forum

The Ethnography in Education Research Forum, convened by the Center for Urban Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) every year since 1980, is the largest annual meeting of qualitative researchers in education. The Forum excels in nurturing ethnographic research and researchers in schools. The Forum is known for its friendly and supportive atmosphere for fledgling researchers and for the spirit of relaxed and open dialogue embracing newcomers and experienced researchers alike. Areas of emphasis include: multicultural issues in education, practitioner/teacher/action research, critical and feminist ethnography, ethnographic evaluation in education, language issues in education, uses of ethnography in math and science, and indigenous language revitalization.

About Practitioner Inquiry Day

Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan L. Lytle –both assistant professors at Penn GSE at the time – initiated practitioner Inquiry Day in 1987 in response to the burgeoning U.S. and international interest in teacher research, action research, critical action research, and participatory research. From the beginning, the intent of Practitioner Inquiry Day was to provide a space for educators to share their research in various formats, including papers, symposia, data sessions, informal group discussions, and more.


Center for Urban Ethnography

University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216