11:42:34Categories: Post-fieldwork, Blogging

Yes, my research blog is really supposed to continue…

Oslo one month ago

Three recent events have inspired me to get this blog going again. The last drop must have been a post by the incredibly prolific research blogger Mary Stevens. In her last post, she tells about her PhD viva and her examiners’ interest in her research blog:

One of the things they were particularly interested in - and of which I didn’t make that much in my write-up - was this blog and the specific contribution it had made to the research experience. I talked about the inspiration, in particular C. Wright Mills‘ idea of the research file, and how it helped extend my presence in the ‘field’ into the virtual arena. Overall, they seemed to think that in an ideal world all researchers would be blogging, as a way of communicating their research to their peers and to the general public, and as a means to keep a kind of intellectual diary. Their enthusiasm has inspired me to find some way to carry on, although I suspect in a new form, as I think this blog has outlived its usefulness (as my failure to post over the last few months has amply illustrated). (Read the whole post on Mary Steven’s blog here.)

As I’ve been chronicling my experiencing continuously, I feel I shouldn’t stop now: The strange things happening after leaving the field, when experiences are turned into data and written documentation, are of course as part and parcel of the research process as is the hanging around in Paris-life I was writing about until last summer. But until now I haven’t

The second event spurring me on to continue blogging, was a brief remark from one of my colleagues who recently got back from his fieldwork: “It’s funny how your friends slowly turn into your informants when you get back to academia and start writing up,” he said. How right! That uncomfortable fact is exactly what’s been churning around in my mind for months now, and I feel it’s urgent to voice this phenomenon/experience in a research blog at this stage.

The third event is the sheer joy and inspiration it gives me to read the research blogs from some of the Master students I was teaching in the spring who now are out in the field all over the world: Rakel blogs (with photos!) from Malta, Nina from Cuba and Inger from India (I think she’s a photographer, ‘cos her photos are really incredible)…

Ah finally, there it’s done, my first post for more than three months…


Comment from: Mary [Visitor]  

‘Incredibly prolific’?!? I wish. But I keep thinking it’s time to start it up again, especially as I’ve had the good fortune to observe all sorts of interesting things in the UK recently. Looking forward to hearing more from you again. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing an article about my blogging experience, but I’m not sure who would be interested in publishing it. Do you have any ideas? And have you thought about publishing anything on the subject (I really think you should :-))

07.03.08 @ 13:00
Comment from: [Member]

Hi Mary,
Thanks for the comment. I know very little about publishing in the Anglophone world, but I would be surprised if no one is interested. Maybe in cultural studies journals like Social Text, Cultural Critique, or maybe someone on http://savageminds.org/, http://blogs.nyu.edu/projects/materialworld/ or http://museumanthropology.net/ could give you an advice?

Personally, I’m still in the middle of the process and haven’t thought about publishing anything on blogging. However, I’ve thought a little bit about using my blog as raw material for a book on method. We’ll see, I’ve still got 18 months to go…

17.03.08 @ 14:58

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