The Center for Applied Anthropology (CfAA) at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) organizes an annual ethnographic field school in Belize directed by Douglas Hume (Professor of Anthropology) every summer in collaboration with the NKU International Education Center - Office of Education Abroad and Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA).
The following information is for the 2024 Ethnographic Field School in Belize:
If you wish to be notified of deadlines and other information about this program, please join the Ethnographic Field School in Belize's:
This course immerses students in Belizean culture and trains them in contemporary anthropological field methods. Students will gain valuable research skills (e.g., ethnographic interviewing and qualitative data analysis) to apply anthropology in their future careers (e.g., applied anthropology or other social/behavioral discipline), an appreciation for Belizean cultural diversity, and further their personal growth. While in Belize, students will be primarily engaged in guided applied ethnographic fieldwork. Students will learn about the local culture by doing participant-observation and conducting ethnographic interviews in a community-based research project. Students will learn research ethics, unobtrusive observation, participant observation, field note writing and coding, ethnographic and life history interviewing, ethnolinguistic data collection, community mapping, rapid assessment procedures, qualitative data analysis, and other ethnographic methods in addition to basic ethnographic writing. After successful completion of this course, students will have:
This program will contribute to the education of students by training them in ethnographic methods and by exposing them to a non-western culture. Students are expected to gain skills that may be used in applying anthropology or other socio-behavioral sciences in their future careers, gain an appreciation for cultural diversity, and further their personal growth. Field experiences such as this project can also improve the likelihood that students will be admitted to graduate school.
This course is being taught as a 300 (upper-undergraduate) and 500 (graduate) level course in anthropology with a maximum of 12 students. Students will earn three credit hours for participation in the ethnographic field school. This course will not fulfill NKU’s general education requirements, but may be applied to NKU’s anthropology major or minor requirements. Students should check with their own institution for what, if any, requirements this course fulfills.
Each spring, students will be encouraged to present our findings in a scholarly panel at the Society for Applied Anthropology/Society for Anthropological Sciences joint annual meetings as well as the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky annual meetings. NKU students will be encouraged to present their findings at NKU's spring Celebration of Student Research and Creativity. Students who wish to learn additional ethnographic analysis methods or prepare a short ethnography for publication may arrange independent studies with the director, Douglas Hume.
The ethnographic field school, as part of the CfAA, is partnering with Belizean institutes and associations in order to contribute to an understanding of household economy and agricultural knowledge of sugar cane farmers in Orange Walk District village communities. Our current research includes the following topics:
Our community partners will use our results and recommendations to develop and conduct workshops for farmers on agricultural techniques, economics, health, and other community development topics. Currently, our community partners include the:
In addition to conducting community-based research, we plan to visit the Belize Zoo, Banquitas House of Culture, Cuello's Distillery and Ruins, Lamanai Maya Ruins (via boat on the New River), Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve (Cave Tubing), and the Tower Hill (Sugar Cane) Factory. Locations are subject to change and may be cancelled due to weather or other factors beyond our control.
The price above includes round-trip transportation from designated cities, airport transfers, accommodations, daily breakfast and dinner, program excursions, and health insurance. Tuition is waived, there is only a $100 transcript fee, but please contact your institution to determine if there are any fees to transfer the course credit.
A minimum of $200.00 should be budgeted for beverages, lunches, and snacks beyond the daily breakfasts and dinners included in the program price. Additionally, approximately $100.00 should be budgeted for required course materials. Participants should also budget additional funds for personal expenses such as souvenirs, based upon their individual spending habits.
All prices are subject to change in the event of unanticipated increases in airfares, monetary exchange rates or other changes in program costs.
Students are required to bring a laptop computer with them that is WiFi capable.
For more information about the ethnographic field school in Belize see the links below.