Examining the “How”: Experiences with Creative Research Methodologies

(Note: This Session Is Full) 


This panel will focus on creative research methodologies that engage with political ecology from a variety of positionalities. While theoretical groundings are critical for organizing our research designs, often the “how” of research itself can be overlooked. This panel asks: how can ethnographically grounded research methodologies be used to advance research which actively engages with and brings into relief the embodied experiences and everyday knowledge of those whose lives are intertwined with the political and ecological forces that shape our world?


The questions we ask, and the methods we use to answer them, present distinct challenges and opportunities. Each presenter will detail a particular method, or more than one, that s/he has used for research, its theoretical justifications, its analytical possibilities, and the opportunities and setbacks it presents. We hope to inspire a robust interdisciplinary discussion of the importance and scope of methods in gathering and analyzing data, and to invite panel attendees to share their experiences with methods. This panel is open to research addressing any topic; we hope to dig into the “how” while not losing sight of the why, where, who, and when.


Such methods might include, but are not limited to:

  • low-tech methods like pile sorts and free lists (Romney and Weller 1988)

  • applied visual ethnography

  • sensory ethnography (Pink 2006)

  • examinations of walking as a research tool

  • capturing the experiences of other species in multi-species ethnographies

  • photographic documentation of natural resources  



Pink, Sarah. 2006. The future of visual anthropology: Engaging the senses. Taylor & Francis.

Weller, Susan C., and A. Kimball Romney. 1988. Systematic Data Collection. Vol. 10. Sage.


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