Workshop: Ethics in the field

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Migration and Mobility Network 

Please register here only if you intend to attend. For questions, email:

Between the necessary compliance with the ethics committees’ requirements and the sensitive experience of encountering refugees, navigating ethics can create complex inner dilemmas. Departing from these aporiai, what is the relationship between on the one hand, the expectations, assumptions, and taken-for-granted categories (the vulnerable migrant?), and on the other, the encounter with others in the field? What does an ethical approach entail in terms of unbalanced relationships formed in the field?

Organised by Alessandro Corso (University of Oxford) and Elsa Gomis (University of East Anglia) with support from the Oxford Migration and Mobility Network, this workshop aims to be a space for discussing main issues related to a variety of methodological aspects including consent, anonymity, copyright and payment. It will adopt a decolonial approach aiming to raise an awareness of reciprocal projections that can influence the research. Focus will also be made on the influence of mainstream representations which tend to stand for presentations of refugee’s narratives. Concerns around this topic will ultimately provide us with the means to inform an understanding of ethics that emerges from the uncanny, uncomfortable or disruptive encounter with others in the field. 



The event will begin with the speakers’ presentations. Then, based on selected short fieldwork excerpts that will be distributed prior to the event via email, participants will be asked to critically think of ethics (in conversation with their knowledge of relevant literature and personal research experience) by focusing on:

  • Texture of the everyday (Veena Das 2007)
  • Issues of care
  • Details (in language, text, representation)
  • Categories (addressed in decolonial and deconstructive approaches).

Intended Audience

This workshop is open to anyone having an interest in ethics in relation to refugee studies or planning to undertake fieldwork.


This is a limited capacity event as it can host only up to 25 participants. Please register here only if you intend to attend. For questions, email: