Fieldwork seminar: South-South Mobilities: An ethnographic exploration of African migrants in contemporary Delhi

Bani Gill

South-South Mobilities: An ethnographic exploration of African migrants in contemporary Delhi

Fieldwork in the Humanities – a series of PhD seminars at ToRS

Fieldwork is at the core of many of the PhD projects at ToRS and a productive period ’in the field’ is crucial for a successful thesis. The time allowed for fieldwork is, however, limited and it is therefore of importance to have an opportunity to discuss plans and alternatives, to be able to share experiences after coming back from fieldwork and to have response on drafts of analysis when the thesis text is about to take shape.

We would therefore like to introduce a series of regular PhD seminars at ToRS on the uses of fieldwork in the humanities. During the seminars there will be an opportunity to present texts (plans, reports, drafts of analysis), discuss and scrutinize various methods for fieldwork – and report experiences as well as discuss theoretical reflections on fieldwork as a method. Fieldwork can be conducted in a number of ways and from very different analytical perspectives; many of them at work in various ToRS projects. The purpose of the seminars is not to streamline your projects, but to open up a forum for discussions about how to plan a fieldwork and still be flexible, choices of documentation, follow-up and where to draw the line. In short: share and learn from others; from tentative research questions to submission of a thesis based on fieldwork.

Some of the issues that will be discussed during the seminars:

  • designing a fieldwork plan and preparing for surprises and change of plans
  • the relation between research questions and choice of field method
  • documentation: technique, ethics and archiving
  • follow-up and processual analysis
  • combining fieldwork material(s) with other sources
  • combining fieldwork material(s) with historical studies
  • literature on fieldwork

It is strongly recommended that those of you who use fieldwork material in your thesis continuously take active part in these seminars. The seminars are intended to be a platform for discussions for every stage of fieldwork and for fieldwork in the broadest understanding of the concept. Archaeological, archival, literary and political angles are more than welcome.

Each seminar has a theme, and literature will be circulated beforehand as a preparation for the discussions. At each seminar will also one, or more PhD, candidate(s) present a piece from her/his on-going work.

ECTS: 1,8 for paper presentation and 0,3 for active participation.

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