Skip to main content
Conferences & lectures

The Classroom in the World: Theoretical Fieldwork in the Shadow of Durkheim and Foucault

Date & time
Friday, October 20, 2023
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Thomas Kemple


This event is free


Sociology and Anthropology Department


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Room H1120

Wheel chair accessible



What are the implications of taking research and teaching beyond the walls of the university? Rereading Émile Durkheim’s lectures on ‘professional ethics and civic morals‘ (1898-1914) through the lens of Michel Foucault’s courses on the genealogy of knowledge and power (1970-1984), this talk presents some preliminary findings of a 7-year study of ‘off-campus classrooms’. Materials from an institutional ethnography of two university programs in experiential learning – one located in rural Guatemala and another in inner-city Vancouver – are examined for the lessons they offer on the potential of experiential learning and the perils of ‘solidarity research’. The classroom-in-the-world is treated as a unique site for observing, comparing, and analyzing how theories of ‘global citizenship’ are taught, tested, and translated into institutional practice in a variety of complex settings.


Thomas Kemple is Professor of Classical Social Science and European Sociology in the Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia. His recent books include Simmel (Polity 2018), The John O’Neill Reader (co-edited with Mark Featherstone, Routledge 2020), and Marx’s Wager: Das Kapital and Classical Sociology (Palgrave Macmillan 2022). Currently he is working on a study that interrogates the concepts of ‘global citizenship’ social solidarity’ through fieldwork, teaching, research, and tourism in rural Guatemala and inner-city Vancouver.

Back to top

© Concordia University