Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye
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Teaching record (2002-2010)

vendredi 11 décembre 2009

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (2006-2010)

Courses taught as part of my academic service as ATER (Junior Research and Teaching Fellow) in Anthropology at the EHESS.

- “Art forms in contemporary Africa and the Diaspora : critique and subversion”, at the Museum of the Quai Branly (Museum of non-Western art), 14h/annum, 2009-2010, with C. Douxami and J.-P. Colleyn This course functions as an introduction to the different forms of contemporary African art (visual arts, performance, theater, literature, music, cinema, dance…). As a research seminar, it also aims at questioning a specific theme each year. This year, we explore the artists’ involvement, notably at a political level, taking as a starting point the fact that most productions address political issues, discussing African countries political and socio-economic situations or more global issues such as slavery, North-South relationships and migrations… Since Marxists analytical frameworks seem at pain to account for the diversity of these forms of political expression, what paradigms can be used ?

- “Seminar of the Centre for African Studies”, 24h/annum, 2006-2009 with Michel Agier, and Rémy Bazenguissa. This collective multidisciplinary seminar was devoted to the presentation of new publications (books or films) by members of the Centre, as well as by invited professors. I took in charge specific sessions to introduce my research (session in May 2007) as well as collective projects (session in January 2009). I also frequently acted as a discussant.

- “Field-work methods and techniques” 24h/annum, 2006-2010 with other colleagues (in 2009-2010 C. Guenzi and M.-A Fouéré) This course is part of the main curriculum in Anthropology at the EHESS. It is a collective course that I have worked on with other colleagues. This graduate course is intended to provide Masters students student with the basic skills needed to do qualitative research. Though field-work research can not be reduced to applying a set of predefined tools, a collective practice of and reflection on standard techniques such as participant observation, ethnographic interviews and research diary is a good way to prepare for one’s own experience. The course critically asses ethnographic approaches applied in research. We pay a special attention to the ethical issues associated with each stage of the research. Each year the class is organized around a collaborative research project, involving the student throughout the project. In 2006-2007, we conducted observations at voting sites during the presidential election. In 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, we attended courts and conducted interviews with judicial workers confronted with a series of reforms. The distinct moments of a research project are analyzed, from the elaboration of a research question to the choice of a suitable methodology, from negotiating an interview to transcribing and analyzing it, from analyzing data and sorting it to the final written copy. This course involves a constant tutorial of students, as well as grading.

- Reading seminar “Anthropology of writing & Literacy Studies” 24h/annum, 2006-2009 This reading seminar, as any seminar at the EHESS, was opened to Masters and PhD students, as well as researchers. The audience has been on average of 15 participants each year. This a course I have personally designed. I also manage a webpage linked to this course where part of the readings are available. The main ambition of this course is to provide an introduction to the field of literacy studies as developed in Anglophone research. One of the dimensions is to parallel these works with better-known developments in France, in history (works on print culture, notably by Roger Chartier), sociology and ethnology (such as studies of “ordinary writing practices”). One of the main lines of discussion has been opened through a focus on the reception of Jack Goody’s work on literacy, which still stands as a prominent reference in France whereas it has been subjected to vigorous criticism elsewhere, especially in the New Literacy Studies developed since the 1990s by Brian Street among others. The first two years have been devoted to an exploration of this field, through readings of classical works (Scribner & Cole, 1981 ; Heath, 1983 ; Street, 1993), and discussions of its main concepts (“literacy practices”, “literacy events”, “literacies”). The third year, we have read in detail some monographs that have renewed this by-now classical frame. We have developed a special methodological interest on what “ethnography” means when it comes to writing practices that intrinsically puts into question a monograph stance.

Ecole Normale Supérieure, Département de Sciences Sociales (2005-2006 and 2009-2010)

- Reading seminar “Recent articles in anthropology” 12h/annum, 2009-2010 This workshop, co-organized with Anne-Christine Trémon, aims at sharing readings of recent papers in anthropology, mainly papers published in leading Anglophone journals.

- Lectures on “Anthropology : An introduction” 24h/annum, 2005-2006 These lectures were attended by students of the Ecole Normale Supérieure from undergraduate to Masters level, and from distinct disciplinary backgrounds. They were intended to give an overview of the discipline. The first lectures provided a historical view of the developments of the discipline and the way it framed current discussions on the practice of anthropology in a postcolonial and globalized world. Then a focus on two specific objects of inquiry and debate was provided, through readings and films. The first one was the notion of ethnicity, discussed through classical readings (F. Barth) and an analysis of Dogon’s paradigmatic example. The second one was the issue of modes of thinking, their difference and the role of literacy in these debates.

Université Lyon 2, Faculté d’Anthropologie et de Sociologie (2002-2005) Undergraduate courses delivered as a Teaching Assistant during my PhD.

TD « Methodology of sociological research » (48h/annum) This course provides an introduction to practical issues of survey data collection. We examine the major planning tasks necessary for conducting surveys, including problem formulation, study design, questionnaire and interview design, pretesting, sampling, coding of data, and writing down a research account. Throughout these tasks, we critically explore the design of surveys and collection of data from epistemological and ethical perspectives. As a data collection exercise, we worked for one year on the readership of newly launched free journal in the metro in Lyon, and for the other two years on amateur cultural practices.

TD « Methodology of documentary research and writing tutorial » (24h/annum) This tutorial has two aims. First, it is intended to training students at documentary research : how to search libraries catalogs ? how to compile a bibliography ? how to organize it ? Secondly, it consisted of writing exercises, based on readings of accounts of fieldwork experience by anthropologists and sociologists, which the students had to analyze, identifying specific writing styles and techniques of descriptions and narratives, and providing their own written accounts of these readings.

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