Vulnerable Witness: The Politics of Grief in the Field

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Univ of California Press, Jul 2, 2019 - Social Science - 232 pages
Scholars and practitioners who witness violence and loss in human, animal, and ecological contexts are expected to have no emotional connection to the subjects they study. Yet is this possible? Following feminist traditions, Vulnerable Witness centers the researcher and challenges readers to reflect on how grieving is part of the research process and, by extension, is a political act. Through thirteen reflective essays the book theorizes the role of grief in the doing of research—from methodological choices, fieldwork and analysis, engagement with individuals, and places of study to the manner in which scholars write and talk about their subjects. Combining personal stories from early career scholars, advocates, and senior faculty, the book shares a breadth of emotional engagement at various career stages and explores the transformative possibilities that emerge from being enmeshed with one's own research. 
 

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Contents

Geographies
28
Reflections on Research
40
Impossibility of Professional Detachment
68
The Authentic Hypocrisy of Ecological Grief
80
Witnessing the Intimate
91
On Missing People in the Field
102
Grieving Daughter Grieving Witness
113
Care and Grief
139
Grieving Salmon and the Politics of Collective
150
Feminist Perspectives on
162
Locating the Time
174
Epilogue
187
Contributors
199
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About the author (2019)

Kathryn Gillespie is a feminist geographer and critical animal studies scholar. Her work has been published in Gender, Place and Culture, Antipode, and Hypatia. She is the author of The Cow with Ear Tag #1389, and she coedited, with Patricia J. Lopez, Economies of Death.  Patricia J. Lopez is Assistant Professor of Geography at Dartmouth College. Her work has been published in Gender, Place and Culture, and Environment and Planning. She is the coeditor, with Kathryn Gillespie, of Economies of Death

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