Grant TypeWorkshop Grant
Institutional AffiliationRice U.
Grant numberGr. CONF-840
Approve DateFebruary 14, 2020
Project TitleGunel, Gokce (Rice U.) To aid workshop on "Patchwork Ethnography: Attending to the Personal in Research Methods"
This project offers an innovative research methodology — “patchwork ethnography” — which theorizes and makes visible how the personal lives of scholars reshape research agendas and processes of ethnographic knowledge production. Today, ethnographers in various disciplines struggle to conduct long stretches of research required by ‘traditional’ fieldwork due to increasingly cumbersome labor conditions at resource-strapped universities, gendered labor conditions, family obligations and political or environmental concerns. While anthropologists have long noted the limits of long-term ethnographic fieldwork in faraway places, this project concretizes tactics ethnographers have used to respond to and innovate their research techniques in response to changing work environments. This workshop offers an inventive, interdisciplinary and international response to these contemporary challenges. Our workshop theme, “patchwork ethnography” builds on decolonial and feminist insights of how the personal and professional, theoretical and methodological, are always already intertwined in research. By “patchwork ethnography,” we refer to ethnographic processes and protocols designed around short-term field visits, using fragmentary yet rigorous data, and other innovations that resist the fixity, holism and certainty demanded in the publication process and reflect recombinations of ‘home’ and ‘field’ that have become necessities. This workshop will produce a manifesto and toolkit of patchwork ethnography and will extend into other efforts, such as webinars, journal publications and conference presentations, to disseminate the concept in anthropology and beyond.