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TRiSS Short Courses 2018: 'Conducting fieldwork in conflict and transitional societies, 6th April, 2018'

Dr Brendan Ciarán Browne

Dr Carlo Aldrovandi

Course Overview

There exists a growing fetishism for doctoral candidates and early career researchers to engage in conflict fieldwork that is seen as exciting, diverse, and innovative and which in turn raises the international profile of the university. However, more honest and blunt discussion is needed on the challenges associated with conducting such work so as to adequately prepare those who hope to engage in this type of challenging research.

The aim of this daylong training seminar is to debunk the mystery associated with conflict fieldwork and to highlight issues that should be considered at each stage of the fieldwork journey. Issues discussed, include: planning, preparation and practicalities of entering the field; thinking ethically before and during fieldwork; data management, storage and security; and exit strategies for when departing. The course will be delivered by two experienced conflict fieldworkers who have spent considerable time living and working in Palestine, Northern Ireland, and Israel, and who have experience of working with former combatants and those engaged in conflict.

Objectives / Aims / Outcomes

The course is designed for those seeking to engage in a period of fieldwork in areas considered to be in conflict or transitioning out of a period of conflict. Facilitated by 'experts' with a wealth of experience in conflict fieldwork, the course seeks to provide an uncomfortably candid reflection on the challenges of such work so as to ensure those who head off into the field are best prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The course follows an interactive training approach and avails of small group learning to ensure that marginalised voices are afforded adequate protection. We will make use of audio-visual material, PowerPoint presentations, and conflict fieldwork scenarios to bring the topics alive.

Guest Speaker

We are pleased to welcome Dr Emma Keelan, clinical physician working in the NHS, Northern Ireland, at the level of ST4 (registrar), with a speciality in respiratory medicine and global health. Dr Keelan has extensive experience of volunteering her medical expertise for organisations working in conflict zones, including; Physicians for Human Rights (Palestine), and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. In addition, she has experience of working as an Assistant Professor in Physiology at the Al Quds University, Palestine. She has published a number of articles on her experiences as a medical volunteer and is currently enrolled in the University of Manchester's world renowned Humanitarian Conflict Response Unit (HCRI) where she is studying for a Red-Cross accredited MA in Global Health.

Select Advance Reading Material

Rivas, A. M. and Browne, B. C. (Eds) (2018) 'Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence: Fieldwork Interrupted' (Policy Press/OUP E-Book/University of Chicago Press).

Browne, B. and McBride, R. (2015) 'Politically sensitive encounters: Ethnography, access and the benefits of "hanging out"', Qualitative Sociology Review, Vol. 11(1), pp. 34-50.

Browne, B., and Moffett, L. (2014) 'Finding your feet in the field: critical reflections of early career researchers on field research in transitional societies', Journal of Human Rights Practice, Vol.6(2), pp. 223- 237.

Browne, B. (2013) 'Recording the personal: the benefits in maintaining research diaries for documenting the emotional and practical challenges of fieldwork in unfamiliar settings', International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Vol.12, pp. 403- 419.

Date and Location

The course will be held on 6th April, 2018 (9:30am - 4:00pm) in the TRiSS Seminar Room, 6th floor, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. See the TRiSS website for more information

Fee and Payment

The course fee is €25 or €15 for students.

Two steps:

1. Register by completing the Registration Form

2. Pay through Paypal through the link below - be sure to fill in your name before pressing 'Add to Cart', particularly if the name on your credit card differs.

Course Fees
Attendee Name

For more information, please contact the event organisers, Dr Brendan Ciarán Browne brbrowne@tcd.ie or Dr Carlo Aldrovandi ALDROVAC@tcd.ie