04 January 2021

Episode 3: In Conversation with Dr. Javier Auyero

Today we speak with Javier Auyero, Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, about his 25 years of experience studying marginalized communities in Buenos Aires ethnographically. Javier tells us how he first came to sociology, and the intellectual curiosities and political interests that drove him to many of his projects. He also describes the very different ways he’s gone about ethnographic research: from the more classic model of solo ethnographer going into the field every day, to his collaboration with local “native” ethnographers, to working with paid research assistants. We then learn how Javier teaches ethnography by applying the same set of questions to a number of exemplary works, before ending by discussing what novels can add to ethnographic research—both to improve writing and convey emotion and experience.

Click here to listen (redirects to the New Books Network page)

21 December 2020

Episode 2: In Conversation with Dr. Maricarmen Hernandez

What is it like to do research in a marginalized community in the shadows of Ecuador’s largest oil refinery? On today’s episode we talk with Dr. Maricarmen Hernandez, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Hernandez tells us about her fieldwork with a heavily contaminated community in the Ecuadorian coastal city of Esmeraldas. She tells us how she gained access to the community and reflects on the relationships she developed while in the field. Many of these relationships were with women who were on the frontlines of political struggles over health effects from contamination and the formalization of land titles. Dr. Hernandez reflects on why women took leading roles in these struggles, and how her own gender influenced her research. She also talks about how she uses photography as part of her fieldwork, and finally explains what happened when security concerns forced her to leave her field site.

Click here to listen (redirects to the New Books Network page)

07 December 2020

Episode 1: An Introduction

Far too often, the most evocative and interesting experiences that come out of ethnographic fieldwork are pushed to the margins. In the first episode of Ethnographic Marginalia, series hosts Sneha Annavarapu and Alex Diamond explain their reasons for starting a podcast and website, before sharing some of the fieldwork experiences that have inspired them. Drawing on her research on the regulation of Indian driving habits, Sneha explains why potholes are a fruitful way to understand the state, how the pandemic has pushed her to turn an ethnographic lens to social media and popular culture artifacts, and the dilemmas around including sexual harassment from her interlocutors as part of the written presentation of her research. Alex talks about his experiences researching the community experience of Colombia’s peace process, including why the pandemic has pushed him to a deeper engagement with rural lifestyles, how a trip to the local butcher provided food for thought, and the difficulties of staying neutral while doing fieldwork with both candidates in a mayoral campaign.

Click here to listen (redirects to the New Books Network page)

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