In this workshop we explored how ethnographic research challenges clearly plotted research designs and disrupts best laid plans. Led by Professor Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich and Dr. Eli Elinoff, the workshop asked how we might re-conceptualize our thinking about methods to respond to the emergent scenes and surprising topographies endemic to ethnographic fieldwork.
Bringing together both experienced ethnographers and postgraduate students, we asked participants to recall or imagine scenes of methods breakdown, where their research design was stretched and their existing methodological approaches were rendered useless. Moving from these moments of impasse, we recounted the ways in which we re-plotted our research so as to move ahead.
We discussed various techniques for moving beyond stasis and considered how strategies of mapping the field can enable ethnographic researchers to overcome such impasses from the inside. By unpacking and naming such strategies we sought to legitimize moments of improvisation and responsive re-mapping of our fields-in-the-making, considering them as valuable methods unto themselves.