WORKSHOP – Doing Ethnography during a Pandemic

Zürich, -, -, Schweiz.


We are organising a two day online workshop for early career researchers: Doing Ethnography during a Pandemic.

We look forward to researchers who are interested in participating. Please send an email to to confirm your participation.

Doing Ethnography during a Pandemic

While the world has been going through a catastrophic health crisis due to COVID 19, social researchers (especially social anthropologists) have been affected enormously in multifarious ways as well. Ethnography (and in some cases participant observation), is a sine qua non to undertake research in social anthropology. Some of the researchers are facing impediments to go to the field due to international border restrictions, others may be already in the field but are still unable to conduct their research due to government-imposed lockdowns. This is notwithstanding the fact that for a select few who still can get access to the field, the contagious nature of COVID 19 poses a huge threat to them and their interlocutors. The problem is even more intense for early career stage researchers, (e.g., the ones in their PhD), who engage in timebound research. This workshop proposes to address the challenges that the Pandemic unfurls for early career researchers in particular. It attempts to do so through the insights of expert social scientists who can throw some light and provide insights/resolutions to the impediments that researchers witness in their fieldwork. Its long-term goal is to build a cohort of the participating researchers who would continue to serve as a support group throughout their research period, even after the workshop is over.

Workshop schedule [Swiss time]

26th February 2021

a)     10 – 10.35 am: Introductions

b)    10.35 – 10.45 am: Welcome Note by Johannes Quack, Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Zurich.

c)     10.45 – 11 am: Break

d)    11 am -12 pm: Talk by Edward Simpson, Professor and Head of Social Anthropology, Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute.

e)     12.15 – 1 pm: Break

f)     1.15 – 2.45 pm: Discussion Session with Andreas Streinzer, Research Associate, University of St Gallen.

g)    2.45 – 3pm: Break

h)    3- 4 pm: Talk by Ilmari KäihköAssociate Professor, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence Academy.

1st March, 2021 

a)     10 – 11 am: Talk by Andrew Dawson, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Melbourne.

i)      11 – 12 am: Talk by Simone Dennis, Professor and Head of Social Anthropology, Australian National University.

b)    12.15 – 1 pm:  Break

c)     1 – 2.15 pm: Workshop Activities in break out rooms.

d)    2.15 – 2.30 pm: Break

e)     2.30 – 3.30 pm: Talk by Maitrayee Chaudhuri, Professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Please get in touch if you have any queries,

Kind regards,

Banhishikha Ghosh

PhD scholar,

Department of Social Anthropology,

University of Zurich