The Digital Ethnography Initiative (DEI) was founded at the University of Vienna and is the first step towards greater visibility of ethnographic work on “the digital” at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. It aims to establish an open space where department-based expertise, experience and research is visible to colleagues, students and the general public, thus also contributing to ongoing interdisciplinary dialogues and public engagements. Although DEI acknowledges and encourages the inherent interdisciplinary nature of digital ethnography, it also places particular attention on the in-depth understanding of historical developments within ethnography in general and its proximity to the discipline of social and cultural anthropology.
DEI is an attempt to establish a space, where longstanding anthropological interest in ethnography meets interdisciplinary dialogue. We do not only aim to engage in the discussion of what digital ethnography means across disciplinary boundaries but also to address specific issues, theories and methods. By providing an online open-access platform for sharing resources, making local expertise and research projects visible, and by organizing regular events, the initiative aims to provide orientation in a messy world of boundaries-crossing methods for researchers and students alike.