ISSUE: May – July 2021

Welcome to the May – July 2021 edition of the PECE Community Update!

You can subscribe to receive the quarterly update via email here. You can find all past and future issues in our archive. Join our public Slack channel to ask questions, submit feedback, or get to know people in the PECE community. 

For anyone with active PECE instances, we invite you to share updates through this quarterly newsletter. Send any updates you might have to .


Cite as Section

The latest version of PECE introduces an automatically generated cite as section for each PECE artifact and essay. See what this looks like on the right-column here

Design Updates

Lucy Pei and Hillary Abraham, from the Department of Informatics at UCI, undertook a design analysis and critique of PECE in 2020, and interviewed members of the PECE Design Team.They built a PECE essay to present some of their analyses, supplemented by excerpts from the interviews they did: 

Redesigning PECE: Founder Interviews

This essay is the first component of a multi-stage research project, reporting on findings from several interviews with founders of PECE -- those who envisioned, funded, and helped realize PECE from the very beginning. Lucy and Hillary detail what the founders hope(d) for PECE, and how these hopes speak to the user experience. They also offer several areas for further interrogation, as well as some intial ideas for re-design.

Project Updates

Featured Project

Formosa Plastics Global Archive 台灣塑膠檔案館

The Formosa Plastics Global Archive 台灣塑膠檔案館 is a research project that supports a transnational network of people concerned about the operations of one of the world's largest petrochemical companies. The material includes public coverage of Formosa Plastics, as well as documentation collected by activists over many years of work.

The project is led by Tim Schütz (UC Irvine) and Sonia Su (UC Berkeley) in cooperation with researchers at the International College for Innovation, National Chengchi University Taiwan. 

Research group members: Prof. Wen Ling Tu, Ying Feng Dai, Tim Schütz and Jerrel Lai.

Exhibition in Taipei

On March 20, 2021, the Formosa Plastics Global Archive design team organized "Pollution, Data, Activism", a public event and month-long exhibition at Tacheles in Taipei's Wanhua District. The event introduced the archive project and showcased a series of annotated courtroom sketches by Paul Jobin, a sociologist at Academica Sinica who has analyzed toxic tort cases against Formosa.

See more photos of the event in this slideshow.

virtual Toxic Tour

On June 30, a group of activists from the Stop Formosa Initiative organized a virtual "toxic  tour", with speakers from different Formosa communities. The tour focused on Formosa's "serial offenses" and targeted a number of US banks that are likely to fund a new Formosa complex in St James Parish, Louisiana. Local activist Sharon Lavigne recently received the Goldman Prize for her advocacy work against the company. 

The live webinar was attended by over 150 participants. If you want to learn more, you can watch a recording of the tour on Facebook, YouTube and the Disaster STS Network. You can also find an interview with Radio Taiwan International Français (in French) and news coverage of the tour.

Read more

Schütz, T. (2021). Visualizing Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics. (2021). ACM Interactions, Vol. 28(4), pp. 50–55.

Schütz, T. & Su, S.-Y. (April 27, 2021). Data Activism and Petro-Public Knowledge “Across Borders”: The Formosa Plastics Global Archive / 數據行動主義×跨界的石化公共知識:台灣塑膠檔案館. Platypus. The CASTAC Blog.


Nadine Tanio and Fred Ariel Hernandez are conducting an ongoing study of air pollution governance and COVID care in K-12 schools in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California (see a report on their progress here). 

The research uses The Asthma Files instance of PECE to develop a place-based essay on the San Gabriel Valley and their respective long-term research sites. More recently they are building out an SSRC-sponsored study of K-12 education during the pandemic within the Disaster STS Transnational COVID-19 Research Group. They are using the Disaster STS platform to build a digital database of their work, including annotating and archiving our data analysis and other study materials we eventually want to share with PECE members.

At the moment both researchers are based in two different countries and primarily use PECE as a digital workspace for collaboration. Now they are finalizing their SSRC final report and thinking through how they want to publish work on PECE and solicit other members' annotations.


Carlson, R., Eggel, R., Franken, L, Thanner, S. & Vepřek, L. (2021). Approaching Code as Process. Prototyping Ethnographic Methodologies. In: Kuckuck. Notizen zur Alltagskultur 1/2021.

Fortun, K., Fortun, M., Okune, A., Schütz, T., Su, S.-Y. (2021). Civic Community Archiving with the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography: Double Binds and Design Challenges. HCI International 2021 Proceedings.

Fortun, K & Kenner, A.. (March 22, 2021). PECE Review: Energy Rights Project, 3.16.2021Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 2 April 2021, accessed 8 July 2021.

Khandekar, A., Costelloe-Kuehn, B., Poirier, L., Morgan, A., Kenner, A., Fortun, K., & Fortun, M. (2021). Moving Ethnography: Infrastructuring Doubletakes and Switchbacks in Experimental Collaborative Methods. Science & Technology Studies.

Negi, R. & Srigyan, P. (2021). Atmosphere of Collaboration: Air Pollution Science, Politics, and Ecopreneurship in Delhi. Routledge India.

Poirier, L. (2021). Reading Datasets: Strategies for Interpreting the Politics of Data Signification. Big Data & Society.


SIEF 2021 discussed open science in ethnography

At this year’s conference of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), one of the panels focused on open science in ethnography, with PECE at the core of the discussion. PECE Design Group member Lina Franken conducted a panel, working in close collaboration with colleagues from the German Specialized Information Service on Social and Cultural Anthropology (FID SKA).

The panel “Everything open for everyone? How Open Science is challenging and expanding ethnographic research practices” included a paper by PECE Design Group Member Tim Schütz on the ongoing collaborative project on Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group and the role of civic data archives within. Lina Franken gave insights into her research on the ways ethnographers are opening up their research by using digital tools and platforms. The discussion on PECE circled around licencing and standards, as well as measures of long-term availability. But most centrally, it highlighted how PECE as a researchers-led and scholar-provided infrastructure has a different concept and perspective than other platforms and therefore is of great value for opening up ethnographic research practice.

Further presentations

Schütz, T., Kenner, A. and Fortun, M. “Infrastructures of Ethnographic Relation-making and Comparing – PECE, For Example.” Colloquium, Laboratory: Anthropology of Environment / Human Relations, Humboldt University Berlin, June 14, 2021.

Franken, L., Schütz, T. and Fortun, K. “Publishing Multimodal Ethnographic work in an Open-ended and Collaborative Way.” Workshop Multimodal Digital Publishing, German Association for Social and Cultural Anthropology (DGSKA), May 20, 2021.


Environmental Injustice (UC Irvine, Summer Session I, 2021),

Archiving for the Anthropocene (Goethe University Frankfurt, Summer Term 2021)

These courses use the Disaster STS Platform to provide reading material and publish case studies produced by students. See also this news article about the Environmental Injustice course. 


The latest release of PECE is 1.35. If you need help updating, please contact Brian Callahan or Renato Vasconcellos Gomes.