Researching in Proximity to War. A Love Story

Maria-Adriana Deiana, Giulia Carabelli

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In this conversation, we re-engage with the fieldwork we conducted in places that are usually associated with (post)war such as Mostar, Sarajevo and Pristina to discuss how we feel about these cities. We started from the intuition that the way we feel about these places matters because it encapsulates and synthesises our struggles to understand, to fit in, to search for home and to find meanings in the relationships we built in our fieldwork. We have experienced the boundaries of fieldwork as shifting, complex and multifarious through the (un)doing of friendships, emotional bonds and (mis)understandings that linger in beyond the ostensible field. For a long time, we have carried these affective experiences with us, unable to let them go but also not sure how to write them in (or how much).
In making sense of emotional states and affective moments in our research encounters, we experienced the fundamental challenge of translating what is ephemeral and affective on the page. Taking our own stakes and attachments seriously has proved difficult in ways that
perhaps we did not anticipate. It has unravelled a process of unlearning that dabbles with feelings, affective moments and sensations as intrinsic to our work and politics. Attending to the affective dimension of fieldwork encounters allows for alternative stories of what counts as research and knowledge to thrive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Narrative Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2019


  • Affect
  • Fieldwork
  • Narrative
  • War, Conflict, Gender, Women, Peace, Security, Extremism, Terror


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