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Collaboration is a two-way road, or regarding ethnographic work with antagonistic institutions

Speaker: María Victoria Guzmán (Leicester)
Chair: Claire Griffiths (Chester)

This seminar explores how researchers can deal with the emotional labour associated with working in hostile institutional contexts. It asks what tools researchers can count on, not only to carry out their fieldwork, but also to protect themselves without falling into the trap of defensiveness or recrimination. In other words, the seminar seeks to think through what happens when collaboration is denied, and how to maintain care-ful(l) ethics even in the face of carelessness.

María Victoria Guzmán
is a researcher specializing in museums, contemporary art, communities and the micropolitical ties that bind all three. She is a PhD (c) Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, MA in Cultural and Creative Industries, King's College London, and has studies in Philosophy and Aesthetics and law. She is the founder of the art criticism blog El Gocerío, and regularly participates in academic journals and forums. She has been recognized with AHRC funding for her PhD research and FONDART for her work as an art critic, as well as other awards such as Haz Tu Tesis en Cultura, and has taught at Universidad del Desarollo and Universidad Católica de Chile. 

The focus of the Behind-the-Scenes seminar series is an exploration of the processes we engage with on the journey towards producing the published research output, covering all the stages involved in fieldwork in geographical, virtual or un-sited fields. From the aspirations and expectations that precede fieldwork, through the messy and unpredictable circumstances of conducting the research, the scope of the series is wide and includes research design; funding; logistical preparations for engaging in fieldwork, dealing with unexpected challenges; the emotional impacts of the work, the multiple rewards of fieldwork collaborations, methods for analysing, cataloguing, and storing information during fieldwork, along with information retrieval from fieldwork. And in the aftermath of fieldwork, the series covers how we engage with the tortuous process of selecting what goes into the final polished output, which invariably includes excising valuable insights accumulated during fieldwork in the process. Behind-the-Scenes is a space where we can look at all those facets of fieldwork, including those which often remain unexplored and unspoken.

Seminar Series

Wed 15 Nov 2023:
From border to border: volunteering, photo-voicing, listening, and here we go again! 
Wed 6 Dec 2023:
Anxieties and Excitements of Archival Work: Some Considerations 
Wed 31 Jan 2024:
Collaboration is a two-way road, or regarding ethnographic work with antagonistic institutions
Wed 7 Feb 2024:
Fieldwork with Indigenous Amazigh Communities
Fri 23 Feb 2024 (practical - hands on session):
Practical approaches to using participatory photography in research
Wed 13 March 2024:
Researching Undocumented Women in Transit. Challenges and Strategies of Fieldwork on the Mexican Border
Wed 24 April 2024:
The sound of amateur cinema: collections, oral history, experimentation workshops

All are welcome to attend this free seminar series. You will need to register in advance for each session to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button at the top of the page to register for the seminar taking place on Wed 31 Jan 2024.