The Future of Ethical and Inclusive Research Practices
This panel will discuss the logistical and ethical dimensions of inclusive research practices. What are the realities and of ethical and inclusive research, and what tangible steps forward can be made in academic practice? In Genocide Studies in particular, the way in which we engage with our interlocutors, field assistants, interviewees, and research partners can have far reaching consequences. Some research methods have recognized the importance of acknowledging power, identity, and reflective practice, but these necessary considerations have not been universalized into other fields or methodologies. Despite renewed discussions about diversity and inclusion in higher education, many academic institutions offer limited opportunities for engagement with research ethics, from power asymmetry, sharing raw data and published analysis, and opportunities for joint publication, to ethical project budgeting. In our current COVID-19 reality, data collection has and must fundamentally change. Is this the opportunity for radical normative change in how scholars and practitioners collect and share data? This panel seeks to contribute not only to this discussion, but to open a multi-disciplinary conversation about the lessons learned from trans-national fields, such as anthropology and peace studies. Based on their own research experiences, participants will share reflections on the value of multi-disciplinary research and methodology, and what it means to engage in ethical and inclusive research collaborations. This roundtable aims to offer both a robust discussion on the principles and practicalities of ethical research, and the future of inclusive trans-national scholarship.
Presentations of the Symposium
Pandemic Methodology: New directions in Research Collaboration
This presentation explores the changing relationship between Global North/Global South (GN/GS) researchers and their scholarship. GN scholars often focus their studies on GS topics and case studies, both with and without partnerships with GS scholars. This topic is of specific relevance as scholars pivot their research during the COVID-19 pandemic, and investigate new ways to do research “in the field.” In the increasingly digital age, how can we blend technology and ethical research practices across the globe? This is a unique moment to reassess the ways in which we build, foster, and maintain GN/GS research relationships. This presentation will highlight the logistics, benefits, and challenges of an on-going GN/GS research collaboration from the perspectives of a GN and GS research partnership. We have worked together to complete a multi-month, cross-continental research grant at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through reflecting on our own experiences, this presentation will focus on the ethical considerations, lessons learned, and recommendations for future researchers.
Taking a Feminist and Decolonized Ethnographic Approach to Research in Indonesia
This discussion focuses on the use of ethical feminist and decolonized ethnography in the post-mass atrocity context in Indonesia. It will use a case study of on-going research conducted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia with the survivors of the 1965 mass killings and their allies. Because survivors continue to live in an oppressive context, this discussion will focus on what it means to represent and frame a marginalized community and how the researcher can avoid reinforcing harmful stereotypes. Additionally, in post-atrocity settings, researchers should be aware that marginalized voices must be given considerable attention as their messages are often silenced or ignored. However, a feminist ethnographic approach is a way to effectively understand the layers of power dynamics around privilege, class, race, and of course, gender. Similarly, the nature of this research also requires a decolonized methodology, or one that seeks to understand multiple, sometimes incoherent historical narratives without linear chronologies, and one where histories should not be understood from a patriarchal, western framework exclusively.
Are We Listening? Preventing Future Genocides by Listening to Victims of the Past and Present
In recent years, a growing number of peacebuilding and conflict resolution voices across the scholarly, practice, policy, and even privately funded efforts have called for a more meaningful incorporation of local expertise in mitigating violence. In this paper, I engage these debates and their application for the closely related field of preventing and mitigating genocides and mass atrocities. In particular, I focus on questions of knowledge production and evidentiary standards within primarily Western technocratic spaces, i.e., what constitutes an evidence-based approach to understanding, halting, and healing from the complex sociopolitical phenomenon of genocide? In this paper, I seek to raise challenging yet essential questions for our normative field of genocide studies, in particular asking if unconscious cultural biases and embedded power dynamics are preventing us from meaningfully incorporating local knowledge. I will discuss the results of primary interviewing data from local peacebuilders. By posing these questions directly to those working in these contexts, my paper incorporates the viewpoints of those who self-identity as engaging in violence prevention in their communities as a necessary prerequisite for survival and future flourishing, rather than purely normative commitments or analytic interests. In so doing, this paper is intended to spark increased conversation around questions of inclusion, ethical data gathering, and embedded power dynamics.