Rethinking Ethnography in a Pandemic and Beyond: Sonic Performances of the Unreal in QTAPI Nightlife, Virtual Reality, and Esports


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




This project examines the resonances of the unreal in nightlife, virtual reality, and live digital performance. Queer Asian American nightlife, music in virtual reality, and professional esports – all spaces understood to be in some way exterior to the “real” – offer in their intersections opportunities for racialized, queer, and crip world-making. Bringing together multi-sited, digital, and insider ethnography, along with the digital humanities and critical game design, “Rethinking Ethnography” sculpts an ethnographic method and multimodal scholarly product which respond directly to emerging forms of digital sociality, the Covid-19 pandemic, and ongoing reckonings with the epistemological violences of anthropological methods.