Matthew Wolf-Meyer and Denielle A. Elliott, "Naked Fieldnotes: A Rough Guide to Ethnographic Writing (U Minnesota Press, 2024)


Ethnographic research has long been cloaked in mystery around what fieldwork is really like for researchers, how they collect data, and how it is analyzed within the social sciences. Naked Fieldnotes: A Rough Guide to Ethnographic Writing (U Minnesota Press, 2024), a unique compendium of actual fieldnotes from contemporary ethnographic researchers from various modalities and research traditions, unpacks how this research works, its challenges and its possibilities.

In this volume, Denielle Elliott and Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer pair fieldnotes based on observations, interviews, drawings, photographs, soundscapes, and other contemporary modes of recording research encounters with short, reflective essays, offering rich examples of how fieldnotes are composed and shaped by research experiences. These essays unlock the experience of conducting qualitative research in the social sciences, providing clear examples of the benefits and difficulties of ethnographic research and how it differs from other forms of writing such as reporting and travelogue. By granting access to these personal archives, Naked Fieldnotes unsettles taboos about the privacy of ethnographic writing and gives scholars a diverse, multimodal approach to conceptualizing and doing ethnographic fieldwork.

Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington Books, 2022). His general area of study is about the construction of identity and place. He is currently conducting research for his next project that looks at nightlife and the emotional labor that is performed by bouncers at bars and nightclubs. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at

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Michael Johnston

Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University.

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