Gatekeepers for fieldwork?

Our colleagues in Estonia will host a really interesting workshop this year – focusing on the role of gatekeepers. I think they are very right that these people are so important for any anthropologist (not only in the Arctic), but we know very little about them, yet we all have our own very diverse experiences with them. This workshop will be a great opportunity to discuss this underrepresented topic.

I just wonder, if the workshop organisers also could have thought to specifically invite scholars TOGETHER with “their” gatekeepers to this workshop? I remember that at the ICASS in Fairbanks one workshop did that, and I brought two friends from Yamal (Mikhail Okotetto and Alexandr Yuzhakov). And David Koester was there with his great gatekeeping friend from Kamtchatka (and many others whom my  bad memory 11 years ago remembers less well). And there they called this “research partnerships” rather than gatekeeping. I wonder if that term sounds more equal and respectful to both sides than gatekeeper? I’m happy to discuss some of this already here on the blog, maybe as an anticipation to get somebody going for the workshop in Tartu?

Here is the call for papers: Continue reading “Gatekeepers for fieldwork?”