Together with Dr. Peter Wynn Kirby, I co-organized a symposium on 'Trespassing in Fieldwork,' held at St. Hilda's College, Oxford on June 3rd. Participants from across the social sciences spoke of their experiences conducting covert ethnography, exploring hidden and off-limits sites, and managing sensitive situations and data. Sponsored by the Technological Natures Research Cluster, the symposium investigated “trespass” in its ethical, methodological and social dimensions, hosting presentations grouped into three at once distinct and overlapping areas: trespassing territory, trespassing the social, and penetrating extra-legal zones. However, as the day progressed, what emerged was a common commitment to “trespassing” as an attunement to the practices of various marginal and/or subversive communities and subcultures, as well as concern over its institutional and legal consequences.
The symposium drew the attention of academics and journalists alike, and was featured in an article in Times Higher Education. Peter and I have also written a summary of the day for the Tech Natures website, which you can access here.