Fieldwork and risk: 2 round tables with the Simon Visiting Professors – June 10th

The Anthropology DA is hosting two roundtables on Wednesday June 10th to mark the presence of our two Simon Visiting Professors: Professor Melissa Caldwell (UC Santa Cruz) and Professor Veena Das (Johns Hopkins).  The morning roundtable will focus on ‘fieldwork, security, and the security state’; the afternoon roundtable will be on ‘theorising risk’.  Both events are free and open to all staff and graduate students; prior registration is required for each roundtable via Eventbrite – details below.

Fieldwork, security, and the security state

June 10th, 11am-1pm, Hanson Room, Humanities Bridgeford Street

How can and should we gauge risk in ethnographic fieldwork?  This roundtable focuses on the practical, ethical, personal and political challenges that doctoral and post-doctoral researchers may face as they undertake fieldwork in contexts that are authoritarian, securitised, militarised, post-conflict or insecure.  Round-table participants will be invited to reflect on their own fieldwork experiences in Russia, Egypt, Tajikistan, Mozambique, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, the UK and China to foster constructive and collegiate discussion with workshop participants concerning the kinds of practical concerns and ethical dilemmas that may fall beyond the purview of conventional research methods training or institutional ethics reviews.  Brief interventions by round-table speakers will be followed by the opportunity for open-ended discussion on the changing social and institutional parameters of ethnographic research and the challenges of navigating risk in the field.

Please register for the morning roundtable here:


Theorising risk

June 10th, 2pm-5pm, University Place 6.211

The afternoon’s informal round-table session follows on from the morning’s session on risk. Participants are invited to explore how risk becomes a salient category in their own analysis as a product of the ways in which their informants/interlocuters work with uncertainty, risk, the unknowable and competing interests or regimes. Presenters will speak for 15 minutes each on risk as an ethnographically salient concept and its uses as an analytic concept. The discussion will then be thrown open.

Please register for the afternoon roundtable here:


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