[GFD Event] Illicit Practices and the Ethics of Ethnography

May 17, 2024


Type Lecture
Intended for Enrolled students / International students / University students / Academic and Administrative Staff
Date(s) May 23, 2024 12:00 — 13:00
Location Online
Venue Zoom
Capacity 100 people
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method Advance registration required

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Registration Period May 15, 2024 — May 23, 2024

Illicit Practices and the Ethics of Ethnography

Date: Thursday, May 23, 12:00-13:00
Online: Zoom
Language: English 
Speaker: Ieva Jusionyte


Ethnographic research relies on social proximity with people. But what happens if the practices being studied are outlawed? What are the legal and ethical considerations for ethnographers engaged in fieldwork that focuses on illicit activities? Drawing on my experiences conducting a multi-sited ethnographic study of gun trafficking across the US-Mexico border and previous research on criminalized exchanges in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, this presentation will address the legal and ethical conundrums of such research and offer some tips on the logistics of studying illicit practices.

Speaker Bio

Ieva Jusionyte is a legal anthropologist and associate professor at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. She is the author of several books, including Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border (University of California Press, 2018) and Exit Wounds: How America’s Guns Fuel Violence Across the Border (University of California Press, 2024). In addition to academic journals, such as American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology, and Political and Legal Anthropology Review, she has written for The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Guardian, and discussed her research broadly in the media, including on BBC and CNN. She is the editor of the California Series in Public Anthropology.

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