Call for Inventions 1.0: Field Devices – xcol, an ethnographic inventory

We hope you may find of interest this call for contributions for xcol, an ethnographic inventory: a curated open-source digital archive seeking to document and display the endless invention integral to any ethnographic inquiry.

The inventiveness that permeates the modes of anthropological inquiry takes expression in very different socio-material techniques: ranging from digital infrastructures used in fieldwork to novel modes of documenting through drawing or very diverse forms of relationality. We call these field devices, for they devise the socio-spatial and material conditions of fieldwork.

In our first Call for Inventions (CfI) we are particularly aiming to inventory accounts of ‘field devices’: the inventive social and material arrangements undertaken, created, made or repurposed in the course of doing fieldwork with others. What we have in mind are texts of at least 2000 words accounting for these field devices in at least two senses: (1) fleshing out the context as well as the social and material arrangements of particular ‘field devices’ as they are put into practice in empirical situations; and (2) hinting at the particular modes of ethnographic inquiry they enable or make emerge.

For this first call we would like to receive fully-fledged proposals for these pieces by February 18, 2022.  If you wanted to submit or discuss an individual contribution, please do not hesitate to contact us here: 

You can find the longer version of the call here.