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 4


Name Email
John Boy, PhD
Anna Notsu
Suzanne Naafs
Tim van de Meerendonk
Tommie Lambregts


week theme lecture tutorials due
1 Contemporary Ethnography and the Ethics Regime Apr 11, 9:15--11:00 Apr 15
2 Data, Data Everywhere Apr 18, 9:15--11:00 Apr 22 Assignment 1
3 How to Care about Ethics Apr 25, 9:15--11:00 Apr 29
4 Data Management in Action May 2, 9:15--11:00 May 13 Assignment 2
5 The Open Imperative May 16, 9:15--11:00 none
6 Standpoint, Representation, Embodiment May 23, 9:15--11:00 none Assignment 3

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


The required book for this class is Kimberly Kay Hoang's Dealing in Desire (University of California Press, 2015). It is available electronically through the university library catalog. You will read this book at your own pace, aiming to complete it in time for assignment 3.

Unless available through the university library catalog, other required and supplementary readings will be available for download.

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.