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We will be hosting panels and lab events at three major Anthropology conferences later in 2018. We’ll be at the EASA in Stockholm in August, where we plan to collaboratively develop new codes of practice to be shared with professional associations and institutions. We’ll be at the ASA in September in Oxford, where we are looking forward to teaming up with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand leading the #MeTooAnthro movement and discussing safer practices and spaces in our field sites and our institutions. Later in 2018 we will be hosting friendly networking events and code of conduct development sessions – watch this space!

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European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference

14-17 August 2018, Stockholm, Sweden

The New Ethnographer: addressing contemporary challenges in fieldwork (lab)

These two two-hour labs will host discussions on the contemporary challenges of ethnographic fieldwork. Researchers’ attempts to talk about their challenging fieldwork experiences are often silenced or dismissed as being the result of bad or unethical practice. This lab opens a space to counter this current institutional silence. Composed of four sections, the lab will host four one-hour discussions on challenges in fieldwork under the themes of: gender; mental health and well being; ethical digital research methods; and safety. We invite non-academics with relevant experience (NGO work, safeguarding training, insurance experts) as well as academics who have conducted fieldwork or have relevant knowledge in gendered methods to participate. Participants are invited to join these discussions having familiarised themselves with The New Ethnographer website and relevant blog entries, and come prepared to discuss the development of new codes of practice for universities. Each lab session will be drawn up into codes of practice to be shared with participants, and disseminated through our professional associations and universities.

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Association of Social Anthropologists Annual Conference 

18-21 September 2018, Oxford, United Kingdom

The New Ethnographer: contemporary challenges in anthropological research (Panel)

This panel addresses the body and the mind of the ethnographer, as the site of a diverse convergence of experiences during fieldwork. Although it has been acknowledged in anthropology that our bodies are our tools of research, the impact of this reality on our bodies is under-explored. As multiple layers of violence dominate the sites that many of us choose to study, ethnographers constantly negotiate relationships and positionalities in ways that can put them in danger. While international organisations often have protocols for staff working in difficult contexts, many universities do not. The staff of such organisations praise the freedom of anthropologists to work without security restrictions, and yet this has in many instances led to devastating consequences. Researchers’ attempts to talk about their challenging fieldwork experiences are often silenced or dismissed as being the result of bad or unethical practice on the part of the researcher. Acknowledging that similar protocols would struggle to capture the complexities of ethnographic research, this panel opens a space to counter the current institutional silence on this subject. Building on existing research into the ubiquity of fieldwork challenges (Pollard 2009) and the importance of treating such experiences and emotions with intellectual rigour (Davies and Spencer 2010), this panel asks how our institutions and professional associations could better support researchers experiencing challenges in the field.

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Networking and planning session

Date TBD, London, United Kingdom. 

Following our panels and labs this summer we hope to bring together a community of like-minded academics, professionals, students, and interested parties. We will be hosting a preliminary networking session in October in London to review the work we have done so far, recruit future contributions to our blog, and discuss a strategy for moving forward with our codes of practice and other new projects.