[Iag-list] Final CFP: RGS-IBG session on Researcher Trauma

Christine Eriksen ceriksen at uow.edu.au
Mon Jan 30 08:58:17 AEDT 2017


Researcher Trauma: dealing with traumatic research content and places
Abstracts of max 250 words should be submitted to ceriksen at uow.edu.au<mailto:ceriksen at uow.edu.au> by COB Friday 3rd February 2017

Session Convenors: Dr Christine Eriksen (Uni of Wollongong, Australia), Dr Danielle Drozdzewski (Uni of New South Wales, Australia), Ass Prof Dale Dominey-Howes (Uni of Sydney, Australia)
Sponsor: RGS-IBG Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group

We all ‘do’ research, but in ‘doing’ research, we rarely spend time thinking about the outcome of that research on our own emotional well-being, let alone on our writing and analytical research practices. In the context of broader institutional pressures and inadequate attention to self-care within the academy, we frequently keep ourselves, and our emotional responses, separate as a matter of practice.

As researchers, we are taught to remain vigilant about the ramifications of our research and subsequent methodologies on our participants. University ethics approval processes contain specific clauses about the potential for research to cause trauma to participants, and the measures required to mitigate and or remedy such trauma. Yet, seldom are we prompted to consider how our research topics, methodologies and subsequent work affect us as researchers. What are the impacts and outcomes of working in traumatic research environments, or examining stressful and distressing research topics?

While some research on secondary traumatic stress within clinician-orientated disciplines exists, within geography – a discipline whose research thematic is broad and multiple – there are few tools given or taught to us for dealing with especially traumatic research experiences.

Building upon a thought-provoking session at the 2016 AAG Meeting, the objectives of this session are to:
- demonstrate how as researchers we think about, but do not always necessarily come to terms with, our experiences researching in traumatic places and with traumatic content,
- provide a place to devote to encounters into the traumatic; a place where they can be the feature events of the presentations, and not merely sentences embedded within methods sections,
- promote critical reflection on our own research practices that involve traumatic experiences for us as researchers and,
- identify a set of guidelines, best practices, tools and materials that can be used by researchers to help them prepare prior to and reflect upon their experiences in the field of traumatic research.

We invite contributions from geographers working with traumatic content and places across the diversity of the field, from Indigenous rights, genocide and war, disasters and terrorism, domestic violence, climate justice; to the more than human.

References: Special Issue of Emotion, Space and Society on Researcher Trauma, Vol.17, November 2015.

Christine Eriksen PhD FRGS
Senior Research Fellow
Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research
School of Geography and Sustainable Communities
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Wollongong, Australia

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