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. […]

Belonging in Migration
Korean Chinese as International Laborers
Current Research Situation My proposed fieldwork should be conducted in Seoul, South Korea, since this summer, and it should last for approximately 10 months. Due to the pandemic situation, I have postponed my fieldwork schedule to March 2021 (to be finished by the end of 2021). At the same time, I will be a visiting […]

Reaching out virtually – attempts to enter my field site, Jiu Valley, Romania, by means of the Internet
How do I meet somebody, a contact, an interlocutor, without being in a place physically? How do I make somebody’s acquaintance without a smile, a handshake, an invitation to coffee? In this text I will think of and describe attempts of entering my field site, Jiu Valley, Romania, from my desk in Hamburg. Jiu Valley […]

Online Breastfeeding and Digital Fieldwork meets Coronavirus
Image 1: Solutions for an online based fieldwork: a well-designed and reflected methodologi-cal mix. Graphic by Ina Tanita Burda.   The maternal breast is often the first place to get food and love for newborn babies. As a first station in the nutritional biography for a lot of people, it is worth asking if there […]

Geertz in the Background
A Thick Description of Online Activism
Consider a space of rectangular shape. In which a small world is contained. The bust of a figure can be seen, contracting the eyelids of their right eye, once, twice, and waving. Next to this world, you emerge, existing in moment you can touch, and the air you can breathe, but catapulted into a similar […]

More-than-human crises in more-than-human fields
Hydroponic of the Aquaponics facility in Bremen (Photo by the Author). The focus of my research is on the complex relations between ecological sustainability and economic rationality using alternative food production as my empirical example. My subject is the study of; metabolic apparatuses in the Anthropocene. In my research the political ecology of aquaponics will […]

Wir müssen denken. Nicht Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie machen.
In den frühen Tagen der Pandemie nahm ich an der virtuellen Eröffnungsveranstaltung der Ausstellung Critical Zones: Horizonte einer neuen Erdpolitik des ZKMs in Karlsruhe teil. Ein Moment aus der Dokumentation ist mir seitdem in Erinnerung geblieben: Eine kurze Bemerkung Donna Haraways über Denken und Disziplinen. Und in Hinblick auf die Herbstakademie „Fieldwork meets Crisis“ scheint […]

Thematische Offenheit und methodischer Opportunismus
Über die (Un-)Möglichkeit meiner Feldforschung während der Corona-Pandemie
Figure 1: Es liegt was in der Luft – Forschen in Zeiten von Corona. Copyright Max Müller. Am Anfang lief noch alles nach Plan. Ich war im Oktober 2019 nach sieben Jahren des Studiums in Göttingen und Hanoi endlich wieder zu Hause in Ostberlin. Und dazu hatte ich auch noch das große Glück eine Stelle […]

Mapping the post-Soviet Market in Crisis.
Subjective Geographies of Traders in Odessa and Bishkek
Container Bazaars in Crisis. Photos by they author.   One of the many impacts of SARS-CoV-2 is the necessity to invent ever more flexible livelihood strategies and swift adaptation to digital working processes. Thus far, I have developed a dissertation project in which I aimed to trace and compare subjective geopolitical imaginaries of small-scale cross-border […]

Ethnographers and Civic Data Infrastructure
Insights From Environmental Activists
Formosa Plastics plays dirty. While that’s not surprising for one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies, it still provided rich content for the Netflix show Dirty Money. In an episode released in Spring 2020, viewers get a deep dive into the political power of the Taiwanese conglomerate. We also learn that the company is responsible […]

Time to think
How the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic helped me reflect on the fieldwork that has yet to take place
  Keeping the distance Overland by train or car, it’s an approximate ten-thousand two-hundred and thirty-two kilometres between Leipzig and Yakutsk, the capital city of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the Russian Federation. But that’s not the important number here. Rather, it’s the physically impossible and economically unviable one and a half meters between people […]