In this episode, Anna Guasco shares their piece, “Problems of Place: The Trouble with Fieldwork, or Troubling Embodiment.”
Anna Guasco (she/her) is a PhD candidate and Gates Cambridge Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral work focuses on histories, narratives, and environmental justice issues surrounding the migration and conservation of gray whales along the North American Pacific Coast. She holds a BA in American Studies from Carleton College and an MSc in Environment, Culture and Society from the University of Edinburgh, and her prior professional work includes working as a national park ranger in California.
* * *
– Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1978).
– Tao Leigh Goffe on coloniality, mapping, unknowability, and the body in “Unmapping the Caribbean: Toward a Digital Praxis of Archipelagic Sounding,” Archipelagos Journal (2020).
– Jaipreet Virdi on pain, embodiment, and history in the series “Painful Realities,” Wellcome Collection (2019).
– Johanna Carolina Jokinen and Martina Angela Caretta on embodiment and “fieldwork” in “When Bodies Do Not Fit: An Analysis of Postgraduate Fieldwork,” 23, no. 12 (2016).
– Alice Wong (ed.), Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2020); and “Editorial” (as well as all other writers’ contributions) in the special issue on “Bodies of Nature: Survival Lessons from Disabled Communities,” in Orion Magazine 40, no. 4 (Winter 2021).
– Imani Barbarin’s work on the Crutches & Spice blog and the late Stella Young’s “I Am Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much,” TED talk (April 2014).
– William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” in Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature, ed. William Cronon (New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1995), 69-90.
– Adrian Howkins, “‘Have You Been There?’ Thoughts on (Not) Visiting Antarctica,” Environmental History 15, no. 3 (2010): 514-519; Anna Guasco, “On an ethic of not going there,” The Geographical Journal (June 20, 2022). See also Sarah Pickman’s reflection on Howkins’ “going there” in a piece for EHN (July 16, 2021). Johanne Bruun’s Arctic Cultures blog on conducting polar history work in/outside the field is also helpful on these ideas.
– See also Diana Valencia’s piece on “The Carbon Footprint of Environmental Research” for EHN (October 24, 2019).