Mental health, coloniality and fieldwork in the European university: a reflection in three challenges – commentary to Taylor

  • Lioba Hirsch

Abstract

In this reflection piece, I discuss three challenges to the way we think about fieldwork and mental health in the context of European universities. These challenges emerged out of reading and reflecting on Stephen Taylor’s paper “The long shadows cast by the field: violence, trauma and the ethnographic researcher”. Specifically I reflect on coloniality and whiteness and the ways in which I consider them to be entangled in both the problem and the discussion around universities’ handling of the mental health of their staff and students. In doing so I rely on decolonial and critical whiteness literature to argue that universities’ disregard for the (mental health) risks associated with conducting ethnographic fieldwork as well as the academic culture which fuels this disregard, reveal the ways in which universities and the knowledge they produce privilege whiteness.

Section
Reflections
Published
Sep 17, 2020
How to Cite
Hirsch, L. (2020). Mental health, coloniality and fieldwork in the European university: a reflection in three challenges – commentary to Taylor. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 198(1-2), 210-213. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.90763