Doing research, especially as a PhD student, might often feel like being caught between a rock and a hard place. While worrying about publishing in order not to perish, and providing quality teaching, we are often caught up in precarious work conditions. Within these structures, fieldwork is still looked upon within political science and IR as a sure way of producing authentic expert knowledge and credited highly in the job market. But these expectations might put further weight on early career scholars and call for prepared approaches of (self-)care to it.
To discuss these problems but also to find possible solutions – both structurally and individually – Qualifie is joint by Professor Laura Routley from Newcastle University and Anne-Kathrin Kreft from the University of Oslo who will share their insights and experiences with regards to these issues. What institutional or personal pressures students of political science face when doing fieldwork? And what strategies of self-care and coping we can introduce both prior and during field research context, and what challenges do they entail?
The roundtable will be followed by a Q&A session.
Anne-Kathrin Kreft is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at the University of Oslo. She works on armed conflict, gender-based violence, the interplay of political violence and civil society activism, and international responses to, as well as public opinion on, armed conflict. Anne-Kathrin has a mixed-methods research profile and an interdisciplinary curiosity. She also cares deeply about fieldwork preparedness and (co-)authored a field research guide for graduate students, reflections and advice on mental well-being during difficult research, and a conversation piece on the challenges of researching conflict-related sexual violence.
Laura Routley is a Senior Lecturer in African and Postcolonial Politics at Newcastle University. She works and teaches on African politics and is interested in the on-going impacts of colonialism. She is particularly interested in how Nigerians imagine the Nigerian state in relation to an implicit ideal of the western state which she explored in her 2015 book Negotiating Corruption: NGOs, Governance and Hybridity in West Africa. Laura has also recently published on the institutional pressures of doing fieldwork within academia.