State archives, embodiment, and (in)security: notes from the field
|Dates:||4 December 2023|
|Times:||16:00 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Kodili Chukwuma (Durham University): State archives, embodiment, and (in)security: notes from the field.
This paper explores the importance of embodiment in (research on) archival practices on state counter-terrorism strategies in Nigeria. In light of the recent debate about methodology and methods within critical security studies and related fields, I focus on the (researchers’) body as a veritable site of knowledge production and intervention, in relation to research practices and fieldwork. Building on the empirical themes of fragmentation, labelling, and gatekeeping which emerged from fieldwork in Abuja, Nigeria, this paper seeks to demonstrate how embodiment operates in active research contexts, particularly in producing and problematising in/security. To do this, I draw insights from ideas about state archival practice and critical ethnography; embodiment in critical security studies, especially as discussed in feminist and postcolonial work; and in/security theory to scaffold my broader methodological approach. A focus on embodiment, I argue, mark the researcher’s body – and research – as integral to the development of theories and findings about security. At the same time, exploring the ways in which the (researcher’s) body is (re)produced especially in relation to identity and subjectivity encourages greater reflexivity in our research practice and fieldwork, as we are continually reminded that our work and our words are grounded in the standpoints that we occupy. The paper concludes by identifying some useful strategies from my fieldwork for grappling with the challenges and tensions that emerge from bodily encounters in (security) research process.
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