Online Fieldwork Basecamp: Getting ready for field research

Imagine you find yourself in a big city in a foreign country, or in a small village in the mountains. Your research is all planned and set from home. But now, the bus doesn’t go, the people don’t speak the official language, and the appointments you made from home, do not seem to materialize. For such cases, no handbook will serve you as a good companion that shows you the tricks for dealing with such unpredictable situations. However, by being aware of the possibilities that such disconcerting moments may be faced whenever you conduct fieldwork, it is possible to learn to manage such situations well. What at first seems to be only failures can through careful consideration turn out to tell you a lot about your research object and the conditions in which it exists.

This course provides its participants with an advanced reflection on and useful techniques for the practical challenges of fieldwork. Across disciplines, researchers encounter similar struggles of how to navigate unknown social, discursive, and material contexts. Drawing on the experiences of several generations of fieldwork, the course will provide practical advice by working through scenarios and cases that equip the participants to make considerations for their fieldwork that would otherwise be not that obvious. Much like the idea of a “basecamp”, the course is directed towards good preparation and situated decision-making when going on the fieldwork journey.

The course will be held online and is divided into two synchronous morning sessions with an asynchronous offline exercise. Please be aware that the course is not an introduction to fieldwork methods but already requires methodical knowledge in the respective field. The discussion will be centred around methods and methodology and provides a way of thinking beyond methodical standards, how to integrate research strategy into methodology, and critical approaches to data gathering. The course also requires some preparation in the form of reading the recommended literature and prepare a short input on your own research. As the course will take place online, please make sure that you can participate via the software ZOOM.


  • Basic knowledge in field methods (e.g. participant observation, interviewing, group discussion)
  • Read the two recommended texts by A. Markham (2013) and J. Okely (2007)

Recommended literature


RUB Research School


Markus Rudolfi


  • Dienstag, 19.07.2022
    09:00 bis 12:00 Uhr

  • Donnerstag, 21.07.2022
    09:00 bis 12:00 Uhr


Bitte melden Sie sich direkt beim Veranstalter für die Veranstaltung an.