Welcome, you’ve made it down the rabbit hole.
On this blog I am sharing somehow noteworthy incidences or thoughts that have their origin in my research experiences. My observations should be seen as complementary to the perfectly drafted, smooth and straightforward appearance of fieldwork in academic publications which usually have little room for the small everyday stuff that leaves the researcher in excitement, awe, consternation or sometimes even anger. A quick note: Doing fieldwork doesn’t mean I’m into agriculture (as a customs officer at the airport once assumed who found this expression very confusing) – I am a social scientist with training in sociology and anthropology. Here’s the official stuff: Uni KN website
In January 2013 I started my PhD project at the University of Constance, a small university beautifully located at the Lake Constance in the very south of Germany which chances are likely you’ve never heard of. In my project I am taking a closer look at domestic violence counselling and support services in urban South Africa. Believe me, I have already told this line about a thousand times over and as it turns out, it makes for a pretty good mood killer at any social gathering. Despite the admittedly rather depressing subject I am dealing with, I actually enjoy my research project – and most of it, the fieldwork, of course. It allows me to meet interesting, passionate and inspiring people from very different professional areas. Sometimes doing fieldwork means taking a look through the keyhole, other times it means getting the chance to become a part of other people’s’ reality – a reality which in some aspects might differ a lot from mine but at the same time might be astonishingly similar in others.
This should give you a small idea of what this blog is about. If you like to, please discuss, comment, question, add, criticize, whatever you feel like, it’s appreciated.
For more information regarding the name of this wonderful blog, please check out the first post. Enjoy.
Dear Ms Brand….
I have spent some time reading through your blog entries. Fine writing. Beautiful thinking. Now that you have completed your research in South Africa, may I suggest that you continue your blog… This is only the first chapter in a wonderful journey that you have invited us to share.
The king might have been speaking “gravely” with good reason when he gave us his advice to “Begin at the beginning”….. “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Possibly he chose to speak “gravely” because he understood that “the end” of one journey is the start of a new one. That we only “stop” when we enter the “grave” !.
So Ms. Brand…. Please invite us to share in your continuing journey. You described yourself thus in your introduction….. ” I’m a sociologist, and an anthropologist in the making”. Now I am certain that… “the University of Constance, a small university beautifully located at Lake Constance in the very south of Germany”….. is as fine a place as any for an anthropologist in the making to blossom and bloom.
Please invite us to share in this new journey with you. Give us chapter 2. It will bring us much to joy to watch the blooming of this “Anthropologist in the making”.
Besides…. we would certainly miss descriptions of things like national cultural history museums that read like yours. ……. “A fragmented, non-linear conceptualization of ‘culture’, ‘history’ and ‘the national’”… Beautiful!
Think about it.
Thank you, Peter. Your comments are much appreciated! I will definitely continue the blog and there are already some ideas for upcoming articles, partly on paper but mostly in thought. Today seems to be a good day to continue writing – finally a lazy Sunday, the birds are chirping and the sun occasionally pays a visit through the clouds. Thank you for your encouraging words and for your interest in the second chapter!
Dear Ms Brand… the pleasure… as usual… is mine. Enjoy the chirping birds and the summer sun in Southern Germany.