June 29 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Apart from some rare personal accounts where researchers reflect on doing field research in Russia and China, the ethical and methodological challenges of conducting research ‘under surveillance’ are rarely discussed in published form because they may raise unwanted attention from the authorities, and this could create barriers for scholars wishing to access the region in the future. Nevertheless, reflections on how to navigate the quandaries that might arise when doing research under the watchful eyes of the authorities are useful for both early-career and more seniors scholars. Drawing on existing literature and case studies, this lecture aims to equip MA and PhD students with the necessary skills to identify and mitigate the ethical, personal and methodological risks and challenges when conducting research in the more closely monitored societies of Central Asia. It explores questions, including: How does researchers’ positionality contribute to their experiences of surveillance in the Central Asian research context? How do they maximize their own physical safety and mental well-being prior to, during and after fieldwork? How does digital monitoring impact researchers’ knowledge production in/on Central Asia?
About the speaker: Jasmin Dall’Agnola is a postdoctoral Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. She holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on the relationship between gender, technology and surveillance in authoritarian societies. Her research has been published by numerous peer-reviewed academic journals, including Europe-Asia Studies, Religions, Central Asian Affairs, Central Asian Survey and Surveillance & Society. She is the lead editor of the book Researching the Former Soviet Union: Stories from the Field (Routledge, 2022).