Document Type

Think Piece


Physically cut off from locations and archives central to our work due to restrictions in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, area studies scholars must reimagine what constitutes rigorous and responsible research in their respective disciplines. The practice of remote research, however, is not a new one. Digital ethnography, an admittedly niche subdiscipline of anthropology, has long been grappling with the issues of how to value and conduct remote research. This essay explores a number of misconceptions regarding digital and remote research that may aid in contextualizing and coming to terms with the anxieties the broader scholarly community faces. I suggest that we strive in this moment not simply to adapt and adopt remote research as a temporary fix until we can resume business as usual, but to integrate it into our disciplinary frameworks as a legitimate and valuable mode of research.

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