Course Information

This course revolves around data: what it consists of, what it can say and do, how to handle it responsibly, who defines it and who is defined by it. In our approach to each of these questions, we will combine ethical reflection with practical application of skills and tools. We will pay special attention to new forms of data generated in and by digital technologies, which are now nearly ubiquitous in ethnographic field sites and our own research practice.

Code : 6491av2et

ECTS : 5.0

Level : 100

Period : Semester 2, Block 2


Name Email
John Boy, PhD
Anne Veens
Ruben Reus
Shajeela Shawkat
Tim van de Meerendonk
Wiebe Ruijtenberg
Willem van Wijk


week theme lecture tutorials due
1 Contemporary Challenges to Ethical Research Apr 12, 9:15--11:00 Apr 12--13
2 Data, Data Everywhere Apr 19, 9:15--11:00 Apr 19--20 Assignment 1
3 Hacking Ethnography I Apr 26, 9:15--11:00 none
4 Hacking Ethnography II none May 3--4 Assignment 2
5 Metrics, Impact and Academic Audit Cultures May 10, 13:15--15:00 none
6 The Open Imperative May 17, 9:15--11:00 May 17--18 Assignment 3

Please consult MyTimetable 🐓 for the schedule of your tutorial sessions.

All times CEST unless otherwise noted.


The required book for this class is Kimberly Kay Hoang, Dealing in Desire (University of California Presss, 2015). It is available electronically through the university library catalog.

Other required and supplementary readings will be available for download.


Assessment in this class is based on three assignments:

  1. Your research report on a data walk (25 percent).
  2. Your group contribution to the Hacking Ethnography collection (25 percent).
  3. Your answers to essay questions relating the course content to Dealing in Desire (50 percent).

We will discuss all three assignments during tutorials.

Academic Integrity

This class adheres to Leiden University's regulations on academic integrity. According to the university, "Plagiarism is understood as presenting, intentionally or otherwise, someone else's words, thoughts, analyses, argumentations, pictures, techniques, computer programmes, etc., as your own work."

We will refer all suspected violations of these regulations to the examination committee. Be careful to properly cite all works you draw on in your assignments. The University Library offers tutorials and advice on what and how to cite.


This syllabus is a living document and may be adapted as the course progresses. You can keep track of changes in the timeline.