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“What’s in Your Bag? Fieldwork Nuts and Bolts,”

Sam Holley-Kline, Allison Kendra, Sabrina Papazian, and Dean Chahim
PhD candidates, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
Date and Time: 
Monday, April 22, 2019 - 12:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Fieldwork (especially the ethnographic sort) and archival research are often described as things one just “figures out” by doing. Methodology, when discussed at all, is often a subject of helpful, but still quite abstract theorization. This roundtable discussion with post-field dissertation writers is about grounding those discussions in the everyday realities of fieldwork. This is meant to be an open discussion, driven by the curiosities of attendees. Examples of questions we might go into: What’s in your bag? What’s on your computer? How do you write a good fieldnote? How do you keep everything straight? How do you gain access? How do you actually do an interview well? What does archival research really mean?  How do you deal with the emotional and physical strains of fieldwork?


Sam Holley-Kline, Allison Kendra, Sabrina Papazian and Dean Chahim are all post-field PhD candidates in the Department of Anthropology. Taken together, their ethnographic research (including interviews, participant observation, and mapping) has engaged with a variety of informants, ranging from indigenous cultivators in rural Mexico to government officials in Peru and Armenia. They have also conducted extensive archival research into governmental, institutional, and personal archives in their field sites. Additionally, they are engaged in various participatory and community-engaged research projects and have experimented with multimedia-based methods of engaging the public and conducting their research.