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This seminar is part of the AISSR series on Research in Times of Corona. In this duo presentation of Laurens Bakker and Nanke Verloo, both ethnographers will reflect on how they had to change their fieldwork because of Covid measures which kept them at home. They will provide an honest reflection about what changed their fieldwork and outcomes, but also hands-on tips and tricks how to do participant observations on and offline in a 1,5 meter society, and how to alter interview techniques to online situations. In this interactive workshop, both researchers will introduce their work, but also invite you to talk about your struggle to adapt your research to the current situation.

Event details of Research in Times of Covid-19: How to adjust your Ethnographic Fieldwork
Date 15 March 2021
Time 12:00 -13:00

Nanke will share her recent experiences with online ethnography and interviewing. As her VENI research in Colombia could no longer take place, she decided to focus first on another case study in Amsterdam and have been doing intensive ethnographic fieldwork online in the past 6 months. This included participant observations in internal online meeting of civil servants, participant observations in online council meetings, and numerous online interviews via zoom. Laurens’s research deals with land conflict and militias in Indonesia. He also had to switch his research to an online environment, and will talk about (strategic) approaches and working methods for online interviewing with stakeholders/ participants abroad. In addition, he started an alternative project by doing ethnographic fieldwork from home on how people navigate the food market in Utrecht in times of Corona.

After the event we host an informal aftertalk (13.00 - 13.30)

There will be ample time in between the different themes for Q&A’s and during the informal after talk.

Nanke Verloo is Assistant Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam. Connecting Anthropology, Public Administration and Planning, her research takes an ethnographic approach to the study of urban conflict. She recently edited the volume Seeing the City. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Study of the Urban (Amsterdam University Press, 2020). In her current project, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research Talent Grant (VENI), she studies conflicts that emerge from participatory planning and other efforts to democratize cities in the Global North and South.

Laurens Bakker is associate professor at the department of anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on conflict over natural resource usage –in particular land- and the socio-political and legal role of security groups in Indonesian society. Laurens is presently heading the Securing the Local Project; a comparative study of the role of civilian security initiatives in countering extremist violence in Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria funded by NWO-Wotro. Like, many other researchers, however, he is at home in the Netherlands rather than conducting fieldwork in any of these countries.

After the event we host an informal aftertalk (13.00 - 13.30)

The next seminars will address the following themes:

  • Digital methods and online tools/platforms
  • The future of academic work

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