In this paper, I reflect on multiple “failures” I encountered during my fieldwork on agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: from my own “failure” to comply with a linear research design to the alleged “failure” of farmers to cooperate within the formal boundaries of cooperatives. I then suggest how a feminist research practices based on a performative ontology enables a reframing of these experiences that opens space for more hopeful affects.
In this article, Katharine and Kelly reflect on the role of the body in ethnographic research, suggesting some questions we might consider as we seek to create caring academic communities supporting each other in ethnographic work.
As a graduate student I first came into contact with the work and persons of JK Gibson-Graham. As I was mentored and supervised by Katherine Gibson, the piece, Building Community Economies: Women and the Politics of Place became part of my journey into feminism and feminist postdevelopment research. In this chapter, I highlight three principles I have carried with me from that time until now: starting where you are, seeing diversity, and multiplying possibility.
Using story and analysis, this paper explores the role of my (maternal) body in producing ethnographic knowledge, re-envisioning ethnographic fieldwork as an embodied relational engagement with a 'site' or 'space' where a multiplicity of trajectories converge.