The blog Fieldwork meets Crisis is part of the DGSKA Autumn School, which takes its starting point in the current pandemic moment, which substantially affects our discipline. (Field) research cannot be conducted or changes significantly, the mobility of researchers is limited, physical proximity on-site is replaced by online contacts, planning security gives way to uncertainty. […]

Collaboration in Times of a Pandemic
Reflections on a Student Exchange between the University of Namibia and the University of Bayreuth
Introduction At the University of Bayreuth (UBT), all MA students in anthropology and African Studies have a unique opportunity to do fieldwork abroad, preferably in a country in Africa. This way, they are encouraged to practically engage with specific problems, to improve their research skills and to develop close collaborations with their partners on the […]

Field of Exceptional Uncertainty.
The Challenges of Early-Career Anthropologists in the Wake of the Corona Pandemic
A position paper by Minh Nguyen (Bielefeld University) and Thomas Stodulka (Freie Universität Berlin) based on discussion at the German Anthropological Association’s Autumn Academy Fieldwork Meets Crisis on 21-23 October 2020, with additional inputs by Julia Nina Baumann (Freie Universität Berlin), Mercedes Figueroa Espejo (Freie Universität Berlin), Ulrike Luttenberger (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris), and Lena […]

Observing the narrative in-between space of research in schools during lockdown
My research project In my work I explore performative language learning in diverse classrooms. This work takes place in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany and often includes gathering qualitative data, such as child narratives, within the context of controlled experiments on foreign language learning. On 17 March 2020 the city of Berlin closed all […]

Another crisis, so what?
Notes on the “corona turn” of my research project on crises in Minas Gerais / Brazil
Trapped between multiple crises “The logic of ‘like it used to be’ and ‘already normal again’ indeed reveals how the post-disaster everyday is at once normal and never the same.” (Samuels 2019: 4) Initially, my intended PhD project focused exclusively on the transfer and implementation of state care in the aftermath of the so-called “Brumadinho […]

Political Activism with Asylum Seekers in times of Pandemic
First of all, it needs to be said that my research is in its preliminary stages. Therefore, my contribution to this blog cannot grasp the whole complexity of ethnographic fieldwork in the times of the new coronavirus pandemic. In what follows, I first give some information about the status quo of my postdoctoral research project-in-the-making. […]

On hold: how to use waiting time effectively?
Image 1: Like the traffic here, my project has also come to a standstill. Photo by: Daniel Jakli.   My research project In my dissertation I examine American conservatism from a culturally oriented perspective in the northeast of Wyoming. Following Arlie Hochschild (2016) and Katherine Cramer (2016), I understand American conservatism as a general way […]

Feldforschung trifft Krise
Erwartungen & Enttäuschungen, Erwägungen & Entscheidungen
Vor wenigen Wochen traf ich mich auf einen Kaffee mit einer befreundeten Ethnologin, die über lange Feldforschungserfahrung in Ecuador verfügt, wo auch ich derzeit forsche. Dabei erzählte ich ihr von meinen Erwägungen zu pandemiebedingt bevorstehenden Änderungen für meine Promotionsforschung und die zunehmend unwahrscheinlicher erscheinende Realisierung meiner geplanten Feldforschung. Unaufgefordert, aber eindringlich riet sie mir, ich […]

Das eigene Berufsfeld untersuchen:
Provenienzforschung ethnografisch betrachten
Image 1: „Restitution Box“ – Gemeinschaftsarbeit aller involvierten Künstler*innen, „Megalopolis – Stimmen aus Kinshasa“, kuratiert von Eddy Ekete und Freddy Tsimba, Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig. Foto: Gesa Grimme, 2018.   Mit welchem Verständnis von Wissenschaft wird im Museum gearbeitet? Was bedeuten Begriffe wie Ethnologie und Kultur in der musealen Arbeit? Fragen zur wissenschaftlichen […]

From Anxiety to Method in a Global Pandemic
Emotional and ethical challenges in researching sexualized violence during times of crisis
I began writing this piece several times, trying to find an interesting vignette to catch the readers’ attention. The truth is, I don’t have one. I spent the last six months of my academic life sitting at my desk, changing my research project, writing and editing papers, attending online conferences and zoom meetings whilst getting […]

Family memories, analog photographs and smartphones.
Reflections on a first experience of remote field work
Image 1. Taken while transcribing an interview, this screenshot portrays Carmen Velarde showing me her mother’s album. We were talking about the presence and (re)viewing of family photo albums at home. Lima, 9 June 2020. Source: Image generated by the author and shared with the authorization of the interviewee.   I am 37-year-old Peruvian visual […]