Workshop 1: Documenting Processes of Spatial Mobility: Qualitative and Ethnographic Approaches

Workshop 1 : Documenting Processes of Spatial Mobility: Qualitative and Ethnographic Approaches

Coordinators:

  • Dr Rémy Delage : Geographer (Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS-EHESS, Paris / IFP, Pondicherry)
  • Dr Aurélie Varrel : Geographer (IFP, Pondicherry / Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS-EHESS, Paris)

Invited Tutors:

  • Dr Tristan Bruslé : Geographer (CSH, New Delhi / Centre for Himalayan Studies, CNRS, Paris)
  • Prof. Mohammed Abdul Kalam : (Dept. of Sociology, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam)
  • Dr Marie Percot : Anthropologist (Paris)

Argument-Purpose : This workshop focuses on the theory and practice of ethnographic fieldwork in South Asia and beyond, primarily discussing conceptual and methodological issues regarding the observation, description and analysis of various types of spatial mobilities (daily commuting, seasonal migration, international labour migration, etc.). The paradigm of the opposition between society of departure (homeland) and host society (hostland) being outdated, it is rather in terms of continuity and not rupture with the society of origin that we reason.

While drawing some concepts and innovative tools drawn from French human geography and Anglo-Saxon migration studies, our aim is to provide students with an intensive training course presenting theories, concepts and ethnographic research methods relating to mobility (Day 1). Mobility is not only envisaged as a research object, but also as a fluid process and as an efficient method of investigation, within a network of interlinked field sites. Indeed, historians, anthropologists and geographers share a common method for apprehending migration processes and describing transnational networks, that is the multi-sited and mobile/itinerant ethnography, as introduced and popularized by George Marcus (1995), brilliantly debated, critiqued and practiced by Alessandro Monsutti (2010), and well synthesized by Ester Gallo (2009), Karen O’Reilly (2009) and Novoa (2015), among others. Various case studies focusing on South Asia and diasporic contexts will then complement and illustrate the formal training (Day 2). The third day of the workshop will take the form of a collaborative session between scholars and students during which a research topic will be chosen and defined, developed and finalized into a formal research proposal while using the concepts and methods taught during the first two days (Day 3).


Workshop Schedule

DAY 1 / TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2016
SESSION 1 – INTRODUCTION
9:00-10:00 Opening speech and roundtable
Introduction to the theme and its methodological implications
Contents and objectives of the workshop
SESSION 2 – THEORIES AND CONCEPTS
10:00-11:00 Defining a conceptual repertoire: movement, circulation, migration, globalization
11:00-11:15 Coffee/Tea break
11:15-12:30 How to describe processes of spatial mobility: from geographical scales and metrics to places and regimes of mobility
12:30-14:00 Lunch
SESSION 3 – TOOL BOX
14:00-15:00 General research methodology and ethnographic fieldwork in social sciences
15:00-15:15 Coffee/Tea break
15:15-17:00 Documenting spatial mobilities: the case of multi-sited/mobile/itinerant/travelling  ethnography
DAY 2 / WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016
SESSION 4 – CASE STUDIES
9:00-11:00 Case study 1 – International labor migration and place-making
11:00-11:15 Coffee/Tea break
11:15-12:30 Case study 2 – Gender and transnational migrations
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Case study 3 – Religious circulations and processes of belonging
15:00-15:15 Coffee/Tea break
15:15-17:00 Case study 4 –Beyond remittances: researching on material circulations
DAY 3 / THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
SESSION  5 – PROJECT DYNAMIC
9:00-11:00 Choosing a research topic, defining a research framework, writing a project proposal
11:00-11:15 Coffee/Tea break
11:15-12:30 Choosing a research topic, defining a research framework, writing a project proposal (cont.)
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Preparation of a PowerPoint presentation
15:00-15:15 Coffee/Tea break
15:15-17:00 Rehearsal for the public restitution
DAY 4 / FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
Group work restitution

Discussion of the results and the workshops

 

 


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