Artifact 6233064ba19d70e5b6597dad7afb100dbab62140a7cf252e350d5e1b4b11cda0:

Assignment 2: Hacking Ethnography

Due date : May 19 (end of day)

Working in groups of up to four students, you will design and produce a contribution to a collection of public-facing resources on the theme of Hacking Ethnography. Your contribution can take one of two forms:

  1. A zine (for instance, to provide guidelines for how to protect the identities of your research participants).
  2. An instructional video (for instance, to show how to use a certain tool to secure research data).

You will find a selection of earlier assignments in this collection.

Regardless which format you choose, try to create your resource in such a way that it will be useful to others like you wondering what kinds of practices they can adopt in the course of ethnographic research to protect research participants, secure data, and otherwise ensure that their research is ethical. We will discuss possible topics during tutorials in week 3.

When you have created your resource, choose a Creative Commons license under which to release your work into the public.


Zines are a self-published format with a DIY aesthetic. They usually consist of literally cut-and-pasted texts and graphics, and traditionally they have been reproduced using copying machines. Zines have been associated with a variety of subcultures, such as the punk scene of the seventies and riot grrrl scene of the nineties.

ABC No Rio, a cultural institution in New York City that archives zines, has the following advice for "new zinesters":

Look at a variety of zines before starting out on one of your own, to really take your time with the layout, and to think about how your zine might be different, depending on where you are in the world: does it have a sense of PLACE? Be specific and descriptive. ... Just to let you know, there are a LOT of punk rock zines out there, so if you're doing one, go the extra mile to make yours stand out.

You can find lots of examples of zines created through the ages on For additional inspiration, look at the zines created or curated by Nika Dubrovsky, Psaroskala, Julia Evans, and Sprout Distro. Design tools like Canva and templates can be helpful, they don't exactly help with standing out---and they may also contain copyrighted material, limiting your ability to share your zine.

Let your creativity run free. You don't even have to stick to the zine format too strictly. For instance, you can also consider making a deck of tarot cards.

After choosing a Creative Commons license for your zine, submit it, preferably as a single PDF, through Brightspace. Making hard copies to distribute to your friends is optional but encouraged!

Instructional Video

Create a video that conveys a useful skill for ethnographers in 4--9 minutes. Aim to make an engaging and concise video that (1) incorporates visual cues highlighting important information, (2) uses minimal text, and (3) has some personality!

Once you have chosen a Creative Commons license for your video, upload it to, the university's Kaltura site, or a PeerTube instance like TubEdu. Submit the public link through Brightspace.