Combating the shocks of the 'unplayful' field. Alone! – commentary to Taylor


  • Shenika McFarlane-Morris


This brief reflection is centered on the article, “The long shadows cast by the field: violence, trauma, and the ethnographic researcher.” The author, Stephen Taylor, should be commended for his bold move to detail his experiences with trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which were subsequent to the commencement of his doctoral fieldwork in a violent location of South Africa. The work of Taylor is stark evidence of the kaleidoscope of challenges surrounding fieldwork that the early career geographer oftentimes bear on their own, which potentially compromise their mental and physical well-being. Compounding these challenges is the cursoriness of preparedness of fledgling geographers for immersed fieldwork, and secondly, the availability of organized support systems for such individuals, once they are in the field. On these premises, I call for action amongst universities to improve the manner in which they prepare ethnographic researchers for fieldwork, particularly those to be conducted in developing countries.




How to Cite

McFarlane-Morris, S. . (2020). Combating the shocks of the ’unplayful’ field. Alone! – commentary to Taylor. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 198(1-2), 214–216.