Welcome to the
Anthropology By The Wire:
Community Ethnography Through Multimedia Research Program
Supported By the National Science Foundation, Award no.


Application Link

Application Deadline is March 14, 2014

The application is available in two ways:

1. Through clicking here and completing it online (cannot be saved once started)

2. Through downloading it here (right-click and select "Save Link/Target As...") and completing it (instructions on how to submit it are on last page of application)

Each application should be accompanied by: a) a college transcript showing classes during the current semester; and b) a letter of recommendation from someone qualified to assess your academic potential. 

These can be emailed to scollins@towson.edu or sent to:

Dr. Samuel Collins
Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Towson University
8000 York Rd
Towson, MD 21252

Program Description

Major Field: Anthropology
Program Dates (Summer site): (Approximately) May 27-July 9 of 2014
Number of Weeks: 6 weeks plus follow-up (includes a research ethics component)

In this project, we propose to recruit a diverse group of students drawn primarily from area community colleges for anthropological research projects on a neighborhood in urban Baltimore. We will utilize anthropological methods through the lens of a public anthropology that demonstrates the relevance of anthropological research to both student researchers and to community participants.

We will primarily target students in their first year, those with at least 1 semester (or its equivalent) of community college education. Over the course of 6 weeks in the summer, fifteen (15) students will attend seminars held at Towson University and engage in collaborative, empirical research on people’s representations of Baltimore’s Sharp Leadenhall neighborhood using a common set of qualitative research methodologies related to the new subdiscipline of media anthropology.

While working on their own ethnographic projects utilizing diverse methodologies and forms of data gathering, including visual anthropology, participant observation, social network analysis and interviews, students will simultaneously undertake collaborative media projects using the visual, textual and audio data they’ve gathered. These projects will take many forms, but will all include web-based, multimedia representations of the lives of people in communities that can be utilized by people in their own efforts to develop their communities.

When students leave Towson, they will spend the next months analyzing data and completing their projects for presentation to the community, the faculty and the next group of students the following May. During this time, they will maintain a virtual community with other participants, including faculty and community associates, for additional collaboration and mentorship. After their research experience has ended, faculty will remain in contact with student cohorts in order to facilitate transition to a 4-year university, to advise on applications for graduate programs and to facilitate the dissemination of results.

Intellectual merit:
1) Student projects will illustrate the tensions and contradictions of different representations of an urban neighborhood in Baltimore using overlapping methodologies in anthropology.
2) Through collaborative media projects with community residents, the proposed project will develop the potentials of an applied anthropology in the age of new media.
3) Finally, the project offers a pedagogical model for involving community college students and community college transfer students in original research.

Broader impacts:
1) Increased interest in post-graduate education in anthropology and the social sciences among community college students
2) Multimedia presentations created for national audiences highlighting the lives, problems and aspirations of Baltimore residents in their home communities
3) Electronic networks of students, faculty and community residents interested in community colleges and community-based research and dissemination.

Links to Directors' Webpages

If you'd like to get more information on the director's of this program, links to their websites can be found below:

Dr. Matthew Durington's Website

Dr. Samuel Collins' Website

If you'd like more information on the program, please feel free to contact either Dr. Durington or Dr. Collins via email.

Website last updated on: March 5, 2012