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. […]

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 […]

Chasing the Crisis
– on the “Coronification” of anthropological research
Adaptation to new circumstances is a critical skill in times of crisis. Over the course of 2020, singles around the world had to adapt to loneliness, families and roommates to being locked in with each other, so-called non-essential workers to unemployment, whole societies to the “the hammer and the dance” as lock-downs were lifted and […]

Migration between Switzerland and Germany:
A comparative study of migration between two culturally and geographically close countries
Introduction In May 2019, I started my research project, comparing migration experiences of German and Swiss migrants to the neighboring country, respectively. The focus of the project was on three aspects: initial migration decisions, current living conditions, and prospects. Both groups mostly consist of well-educated individuals who should have few difficulties integrating into the host […]

Anthropological Research and Responsibility in The Pandemic Moment
Many countries within Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Laos, are currently facing tremendous changes resulted from infrastructure development influenced by the Chinese government. My fieldwork was conducted at the Mekong riverside border towns in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. It was the border area of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, where several Chinese transnational companies have invested. […]