This week I took part in a two day interdisciplinary, multi-modal research workshop, organised by the ESRC Wales DTC in Cardiff. The aim of the day was to explore the different modes we make meaning and observe with, the affordances of four key media with which we can record ethnographic observations, and the relationship between these modes and media. The event was a great mixture of discussion ad practical fieldwork. We started out discussing and fleshing out the distinctions and crossovers between the ideas of modes and media, building on the paper we had read . Then we discussed the four different media we would be concentrating on in the workshop with the four leaders: field notes (Bella Dicks), still images (Rachel Hurdley), audio (Brett Lashua) and video (Bambo Soyinka). After introducing the research question: How is Gorsedd Gardens made into a meaningful place through the social interactions of people, objects, materials, 'nature', sounds time within it? We were then let loose to explore the Gardens...
At the end of August I attended the Royal Geographic Society (with IBG)'s annual conference in London. In preparation for, during and after the event I did a fair amount of reflecting on what the purpose of taking part in conferences are. I think it's fair to say that academics put a fair amount of time into deciding which conferences to go to, which sessions to apply to contribute to, what we should actually say when we get there and then what to do with it afterwards, so I thought I'd share a few thoughts on that sort of thing before the moment passes.
Time has flown by since I returned from Svalbard, it's been 2 months already! It has been an interesting and slightly chaotic time. I hadn't really thought about what it would be like having 'done' my fieldwork, except that it meant I ought to get on with analysis and writing and could for a while forget about organising funding and travel details. For the first couple of weeks it felt a bit like coming down from a long holiday - trying to get back into some sort of routine, enjoying the comforts and beauty of home, but missing the excitement of exploring a new place.
I wouldn't say I was suffering complete 'post-fieldwork blues', but I can certainly relate to some of the experiences of Michelle Redman's post, especially about loving the 'doing' aspects and instant feedback opportunities fieldwork brings.