Following up my previous post, I’d like to open another kind of discussion. Concerning IRBs, we have a wealth of information about the problems researchers of all sorts face (and more on the way in the form, for example, of ethnographic research on IRB process); there have also recently been a number of important critical interventions in the form, for example, of conferences and professional association position papers, with more to come (in the wake, for example, of the recent NY Times article).
Complementing all that, for the immediate short term we also need to build up a stock of creative coping strategies. I suspect that it would be useful to share what we’ve come up with rather than keeping our innovations local.
I am most definitely not suggesting that we devote our attention solely to coping: the November American Ethnologist Forum as a whole — and Katz’s contribution in particular — ought to make that clear. I’m suggesting that institutional isolation makes everyone weak, whereas cross-institutional sharing of productive interventions enables both students and practitioners of field research, oral history interviewing, and other marginalized research styles to continue doing ethical, critical research even as other efforts are under way to protect and expand those possibilities.
Some examples of the creative coping were offered in the November American Ethnologist Forum in Dan Bradburd’s article (on an individual level) and Rick Shweder’s (on an institutional level). Please write in with your local achievements: whether individual, departmental, or college/university-wide. In my next post, I’ll describe a local experiment in what — following my last post — I think of as cross-disciplinary “translation”.