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Care as Method

Date: Friday, November 27th, 2020

Time: 14:30 to 17:00 (CET).

Format: Online

Language: English

Led by : Marianna Fernandes & Silvia Wojczewski

Input talks by: Parvati Raghuram, Open University, UK

Registration: open until November 10th

The COVID-19 pandemic has made legible stark inequalities in the global distribution of care. Building on feminist and anti-racist perspectives, the conference Geographies of Alternative Care: Spaces, Ecologies, and Methods (University of Lausanne, November 26-27th 2020) opens an interdisciplinary conversation on three key dimensions of caring: caring for and through spaces; caring across species and scales; caring as a research method. The latter will be the focus of the workshop Care as Method.

While global care chains and reproductive work have been the main focus of much feminist scholarship, this workshop shifts attention to care as a political and ethical basis for doing research. For instance, Hamilton and Neimanis (2018) propose feminist composting as a methodology to carefully incorporate, in a non-extractivist way, feminism as well as theories and praxis concerned with race, coloniality, sexuality, ability, class, and other related power asymmetries into the field of the environmental humanities. Many feminist scholars propose that care has a radical potential for changing the way research is conducted. Feminist critique, as Mayanthi Fernando points out, can be a practice of care for the self, others and the world (Fernando 2019). Careful research tools may include co-writing between participant and researcher (Blasco & Hernandez 2019), or paying particular attention to caring for the body in research contexts (Sutton 2010, Lorde 2012).

Assuming that, as Puig De la Bellacasa (2017) puts it, care involves non-innocent political and ethical interventions that affect also those who are researching it, the issue of methodologies that allow engaging with care without “smoothing it out of its disruptive potential” imposes itself. Beyond aiming at grasping the state of the art of methods in care research, our goal is to discuss the theoretical and practical implications, as well as the risks and possibilities, of approaching care as method.

Drawing on methodologies and epistemologies distinctive of feminist research (Harding 1987), the workshop will mainly focus on care in research practices and research institutions. It is aimed at being a space of self-reflection about positionality (but not only) and about how care can be perceived as a methodological tool, or posture, to advance ethical research.

The workshop will be interactive and include input talks by two scholars as well as moments for peer feedback. It will be possible to publish the participants’ authorial pieces on the event’s website. We particularly invite contributions from young scholars (Ph.D., Post-Doc) from geography, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, and other related fields. Registration will be open until November 10th. The workshop will be conducted in English*.

Tree Mountain by Agnes Denes. Credits.

Places: 20

Preparatory work: Participants are strongly encouraged to read two short pieces that will be circulated beforehand. Prior to the workshop date, participants should share one short authorial piece of work connected to the topic Care as Method. This could be a short essay (max 500 words), a poem, an image, collage, etcetera.

Registration: Registration is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions.

*Unfortunately, we cannot provide translation to the workshop. Note, however, that all the activities on November 26th will be translated to English, French and Spanish.

**Due to the public health crisis, the conference will be offered online. Registration is required in order to receive a link to the program.


Blasco, Paloma Gay, and Liria Hernández. 2019. Writing Friendship: A Reciprocal Ethnography: Springer.

Hamilton, Jennifer Mae, and Astrida Neimanis. 2018. “Composting Feminisms and Environmental Humanities.” Environmental Humanities 10 (2): 501–27.

Harding, Sandra. 1987. “The Method Question.” Hypatia 2 (3): 19–35.

Lorde, Audre. 2012. Sister outsider: Essays and speeches: Crossing Press.

Puig De la Bellacasa, Maria. 2017. Matters of Care. Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. Minneapolis and Londo: University of Minnesota Press.

Sutton, Barbara. 2010. Bodies in crisis: Culture, violence, and women’s resistance in neoliberal Argentina: Rutgers University Press.

Siluetas Series by Ana Mendieta. Credits.