Summer School Anthropology and ethnographic storytelling

Younes Saramifar's picture
Summer Program
July 4, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Religious Studies and Theology, Sexuality Studies, Sociology, Women's & Gender History / Studies


This course focuses on hands-on anthropology and learning by doing with a strong orientation towards construction of ethnographic stories through imaginative and speculative thinking. Our hands-on training emphasizes on the embodiment of the method and theory in order to extend the theoretical knowledge of students through practical skills such interviewing, and use of sound and sensory data in ethnographic stories. We organize the course in collaboration with Masha Ru, the artist in residence of the Netherlands Institute of Advance Study,  in order to push the methodological boundaries and encourage students to innovate and experiment with the method. The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology in collaboration with NGOs, Social Activists, and Artists brings together hands-on anthropology which turns scientific endeavors into a collaborative process that empowers both the research and the researchers. The course which is based on the principle of Do Anthropology Yourself (DAY) offers interaction with creative writers, experienced ethnographers, and anthropologists as well as refugees and practitioners.


Ethnography or what Clifford Geertz called ‘deep-hanging out’ (1998) is becoming increasingly popular the research method among disciplines other than anthropology and sociology. Ethnography explains complexities of everyday lives however, these complexities must be conveyed in an accessible, creative and imaginative manner, therefore, this course combines storytelling with ethnographic methodologies. This combination will help students through transdisciplinary perspectives to think out of the box about how to explain collected data, observations and fieldnotes into stories that are scientifically convincing and socially relevant. 

Submit your application through our online application form before 1 May 2020, 23.59 CET.  If you want to apply for multiple courses, you only need to fill out the form once. In the online application form you will be asked to provide the following three documents

  • Motivation letter. Please make sure to describe your motivation for the specific course(s) you apply for: Why this topic? How will the course contribute to your future (academic) career? (250-500 words) 
    If you apply for multiple courses, answer the questions for both courses in the same motivation letter.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • Transcript of records (a print screen of your most recent grades is sufficient and needs to include your name and the name of your University)

The documents will be shared with the professors before the start of the course. If you have any questions regarding the procedure or anything else, let us know at We respond quickly. Your admission will be definite once we have reviewed your application on the basis of the entry requirements, availability in the courses, and once we have received your payment. Your place in the VU Amsterdam Summer School will not be guaranteed until we have received your payment. 


The tuition fee of a two-week course is €1150. This tuition fee includes:

  • Airport pick-up service
  • Course excursions
  • Orientation programme and welcome
  • On-site support and 24/7 emergency assistance
  • A transcript of records and certificate of attendance after completing the course
  • Meal vouchers to be spent at the university restaurant for either lunch or dinner
  • A discounted access to our sport facilities

For an additional fee students can add social programme activities and accommodation. Travel and living expenses are not included. 

VU Amsterdam Summer School offers the following discounts:

  • Early Bird Discount
    €150 discount for all students who apply for 1 course and pay before 15 March, 23.59 CET
  • Partner and VU Alumni Discount        
    All students from partner universities of VU Amsterdam and alumni of VU Amsterdam Summer School receive €250 discount on the tuition fee 
  • Combination Discount 
    €250 discount when you apply for 2 courses
  • VU student and staff discount
    €450 discount if you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam 

    * Early Bird Discount can only be combined with the Combination Discount 

You can see here what our students did in previous years Read their stories and experiences in the summer school. 


Contact Info: for admission and application for further information and the course details