Karen Lane conducted ethnographic fieldwork in 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and in London. The 1968-1998 conflict in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles, has become a defining discursive feature of the country and of Belfast in particular. Karen’s interest is on the extent to which everyday life in Belfast transcends the Troubles, how everyday life there is represented in academic and fictional literature, and to what extent geographic and temporal distance from Belfast affects those representations.
Her research interests are in personal storytelling, Northern Irish theatre and fictional literature, ethnographic writing, sensory and performance ethnography, and urban anthropology. With regard to the latter, anthropology has traditionally accorded less epistemological weight to fleeting and superficial encounters with strangers, but this mode of sociality is a central feature of life in the city, relationships that the modern stranger navigates with relative ease. To explore this phenomenon, Karen has developed an innovative research method in which her dog becomes her research assistant, increasing engagements with strangers and prompting stories that would otherwise not be told.
Lane, K., 2015a. Canine connections: fieldwork with a dog as research assistant. Anthropology in Action, 22(3), pp.27–38.
SA1901 An Introduction to Anthropology
SA 3902 Anthropology of Global Social Issues
SA2901 Anthropology in Today’s World