On October 8, 2015 we spent a morning with Kim Fortun discussing graduate student research projects and movement. The workshop was designed to collectively explore a shared analytic that might, or might not, have been central to the participants’ projects. Our conversation was extremely generative and rich. Unexpected threads connected projects and in some cases required their separation. We took about half an hour to explore each student write up and to discuss the excerpts they brought to the table.
Its been about a month since we had Kim visiting Rice. After this time, what stayed and what receded? Below you’ll find four flashbacks of the workshop. Next to each participant’s entry you will also see links to the texts they submitted in parallel to their research description. Those texts were selected by participants because they moved their own thinking and ethnographic practice and not because they are representative of the students’ own work, theoretical identifications, or regional interests.
Rather than create a solid history of what transpired in the event, this post is a memento for participants and a token for those of you who were not there but are interested in what might have unfolded. It is a placeholder for detailed notes, sketches, brilliant connections, and lingering questions that will continue their lives through each of the projects we discussed.
Helena: Thinking collaboratively with Prof. Fortun, Prof. Ballestero and my peers opened up new ways of attuning to the past as a historical and ethnographic object. Which pasts come to matter and for whom, how can we see the past not as a self-evident point in time, but as brought into being, diffusely distributed, an inherited remainder of sorts, are key provocations that I will carry with me as I think through the ethics and of politics of refugee wellbeing in Australia.
Baird: I left the workshop with new understandings of how a seemingly broad analytic like “movement” can produce unexpected connections between my own project and seemingly unrelated projects on other topics.
Marcel: Lately, I’ve been seeing Kim’s 2012 article “Ethnography in Late Industrialism” cited everywhere, and it was exciting to think with her about the sky as a space for labor organizing, perhaps even a new factory floor.
Eliot: Thinking about ‘movement’ helped me conceptualize the movement between my two field-sites, which are 6,000+ miles apart. What scales directions, and artifacts produce novel movements worth following?
Texts that move: