(Please kindly note that a new LSE blog is launched based on the outcomes of the workshop: Field Research Method Lab at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/fieldresearch)

Field Research Method Lab:
Addressing Field Research Constraints in China 

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science

Funded by the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre 

Dates: 6-7 June 2013

Venues: 6 June in Graham Wallace Room, Old Building and 7 June in Room OLD.3.21 (For maps and directions, please visit http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/Home.aspx)

It is with pleasure to announce CFP for a workshop on ‘Addressing Field Research Constraints in China’, to be held at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The field research method workshop aims at bringing together both established and early career researchers working on China and sharing their hands-on experiences of addressing various constraints that they have encountered in the course of their fieldwork. It will be an opportunity to hold scholarly debates on what tends to remain in individual researcher’s private domain or between lines without getting a chance to be disseminated. How the field research constraints are addressed however often determines the quality of research outcomes.

Presenters are encouraged to reflect upon their past/present field research projects, and draw some lessons, both practical and academic, which can be shared with the audience. Below is a list of potential topics but you are very much welcome to suggest any that is related to conducting field research in China:

(1)    Practicalities associated with field research (e.g. issues of field access, collaboration with local partners, language barriers including dependence on translators);

(2)    Constraints on data collection (sampling, access to government sources, credibility and contamination of field data, etc.);

(3)    Relationship between the researcher and the researched (researcher’s positionality, power relations, insider-outsider dichotomy, boundary crossing, etc.);

(4)    Constraints on international collaboration;

(5)    Cultural encounters;

(6)    Government censorship and data access;

(7)    Research ethics

Each presenter is to contribute a short paper (about 2,000 words). Contributed papers are initially to be published on LSE Blogs. A collective publication in the format of an edited volume may also to be explored on the basis of these contributions. The workshop by nature is going to be very much interdisciplinary, with confirmed contributors coming from Anthropology, Gender Institute, Social Policy and Geography and Environment.

Participants wishing to present their thoughts are invited to submit a 150-word (max.) abstract and a short biography to Dr Hyun Shin (h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk) by 4th April 2013. 

If you are interested in attending only, please also e-mail Dr Hyun Shin to reserve a place. No registration fees required but places are limited.