Accepted Paper:

Manouvering between South Sudan, Belarus, Poland, Russia and Nauru: moving between academic and non-academic jobs, while making sense of development  


Ela Drazkiewicz (Slovak Academy of Sciences)

Paper Short Abstract:

Development studies uncovering mechanisms of fragmented yet interdependent networks challenge area studies. I will consider how moving between various posts facilitates research crossing traditional fields' boundaries: linking Poland and Sudan, Nauru and Russia, NGOs and international institutions.

Paper long abstract:

The studies of development aiming to uncover mechanisms governing strongly fragmented, yet tightly interdependent networks of development actors, provides a challenge to traditional area studies in anthropology. Moreover, such study, which combines data from various forms of social assemblages and geographical regions, does not fit into traditional topical and regional organization of academic departments. In this paper, based on my own ethnography of Polish development apparatus I will consider how I deal with such a challenge. I will consider how my own maneuvering between British, Polish and Irish universities, academic, NGO or Governmental posts allowed me to conduct research which transcends traditional fields' boundaries and juxtaposition material in often surprising configurations: linking Poland and South Sudan, Nauru and Russia, small NGO and strong international institution. While such combinations might seem unorthodox, I am confident, that in the current highly globalised and interconnected world they hold growing meanings.

Panel P124
Bounded fieldsites, mobile concepts, flexible anthropologists