About

Collecting valuable primary data ‘in the field’ – beyond the walls of the institution in which we work – is an important part of research and career progression, and the reason why many of us choose to go into the disciplines we do. There are unavoidable difficulties we all will face when conducting research. In the course of our own work in South Asia, we have become increasingly aware of various issues that we as women may experience in particular ways. For example, dealing with issues of extreme climates, possibly remote locations, and very specific cultural contexts. That is without even considering the complex connotations related to ethnicity, nationality, sex and gender.

It is at the fieldwork stage of the research that women, and especially intersectional women, start to fall behind or even away from the research and career ladder in disciplines where primary data collection is key. From entrenched cultural norms where women are not ‘seen’ in certain places to the lack of available networking or support, there are a number of reasons why this occurs. This leads, inevitably, to the ‘leaky pipe’ scenario faced by many academic disciplines whereby the number of women in the latter stages of their careers and in senior positions has dramatically dropped.

We created this network in the hope that we could bring together women from different disciplines but with shared experiences in conducting fieldwork (or attempting to) in South Asia. We wish to discuss the major issues but also to see whether we can reach some resolutions while creating a supportive network of interdisciplinary researchers supporting women, ALL WOMEN, in the field.

For enquiries please contact the Networks Programme Manager.

Convenors

Convenors

  • Rosie Campbell (Research Assistant, Mcdonald Institute of Archaeology, specialism in spatial and landscape studies with 3D modelling and GIS)
  • Shreyashi Dasgupta (ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge College Research Associate at Homerton College, specialism in urban and labor geography)
  • Afifa Khan (Research Assistant, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge, specialism in archaeology of South Asia, primarily Pakistan)
  • Maria Suarez Moreno (Research Assistant, Mcdonald Institute of Archaeology, specialism in digital agriculture and soil sciences)
  • Rebecca Roberts (Project Coordinator of the MAHSA project, Research Associate, Fitzwilliam Museum, specialism in archaeology of Kazakhstan)
  • Azadeh Vafadari (Research Associate and Training Manager at the MAHSA project, specialism in archaeological and heritage conservation management)

Faculty advisors

  • Menali Desai (Professor of Comparative and Historical Sociology, Head of Department, Department of Sociology, Cambridge)
  • Iza Hussin (Associate Professor in Asian Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge)
  • Cameron Petrie (Reader in South Asian and Iranian Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Cambridge)
  • Tamsin O’Connell (Department of Archaeology, Cambridge)

Programme 2022 - 2023

Lent Term 2023

Women in the field
Risk
19 Jan 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

Language
2 Feb 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Seminar room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

CANCELLED | Localised (situated) feminism/ethics
16 Feb 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

Family relations and normalising women in the field
2 Mar 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

Decolonial and inclusive fieldwork
16 Mar 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Seminar Room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

Women, climate change and fieldwork
27 Mar 2023 10:00 - 11:00, Online & Seminar room S1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Easter Term 2023

Women in the field
Programme TBA
20 Apr 2023 10:00 - 12:00, Room S3, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Reading group

Michaelmas Term 2022

Women in the field
Identity, culture and career in South Asia
20 Oct 2022 10:00 - 12:00, McDonald Institute, Cambridge

Sudeshna Guha (Shiv Nadar)

Early career research and fieldwork
3 Nov 2022 10:00 - 12:00, McDonald Institute, Cambridge

Debolina Majumdar (Cambridge), Shahina Farid (Historic England)

Show and tell: fieldwork notebooks
1 Dec 2022 10:00 - 12:00, McDonald Institute, Cambridge

Kavita Ramakrishnan (East Anglia), Shailaja Fennell (Cambridge)

Cambridge Festival 2023

Women, climate change and fieldwork

27 March 2023 | 10:00 – 11:00 | Room S1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge

Speakers

  • Aisha Khan
  • Gemma Sou

Summary

Climate change disproportionally impacts regions in South Asia. We saw this during the past year with heatwaves, floods and cyclones battering already struggling communities in the region. What is not often talked about is the role of women in combating the causes and impacts of climate change, whether from within communities, in the field or in policymaking.

Aisha Khan is a climate change activist and the CEO of the Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO), who has written about these issues, worked with women in these communities and has first-hand experience in the roles that women can, and need, to play to combat destructive impacts of climate change.

Gemma Sou and her collaborators have made a graphic novel based on the stories of people affected by climate change around the world. She is interested in how popular media such as graphic novels can be used to talk about these difficult and multi-plural issues and stories.

We want to share these freely accessible articles and works with the general public and sit down with their authors to raise awareness but also to generate useful and engaging discussion.

An event by the Women in the Field in South Asia research network at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).

This event is part of the Cambridge Festival 2023.

Cambridge Festival logo in yellow

CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN THE ARTS, SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk