Forbidden Geographies: How to Conduct Research Beyond Embargoes, Travel Bans and Blockades.

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Galerie 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Robert Huish
Chairs: Robert Huish



Travel bans, embargoes, and blockades are used as punitive measures against peoples and governments. Aside from the humanitarian and civil liberty violations, when states prohibit the movement of peoples, so too do they hinder the creation of ideas and knowledge. In some cases, it is so difficult to access certain places, that almost no scholarly knowledge can emerge. Should researchers ignore such places, or find ways in?

This panel consists of researchers who choose to conduct their work in technically “forbidden places”. How do researchers themselves work around restrictive travel regulations from their home governments and surveillance from their host governments? What are the long-term consequences of forbidding geographers from studying a particular place? This panel will explore how researchers cope with travel restrictions abroad in collecting data, mitigating risk, and publishing their results.

Featured panelists, including experts on Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela, will discuss their own methods, and provide advice on how to access forbidden geographies.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Sarah Blue 5 10:00 AM
Presenter Robert Huish*, Dalhousie University, Cracking the Hermit Kingdom's Black Box: An Innovative Method for conducting research in North Korea 20 10:05 AM
Presenter Christina Clark-Kazak*, , Ethical questioning of fieldwork in dangerous places: From prohibition to protection 20 10:25 AM
Presenter Kirsten Van Houten*, School of International Development and Global Studies, Whose Risk? Formal and Informal Barriers to Undertaking Doctoral Field Work in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 10:45 AM
Presenter Chris Walker*, , Research Challenges in Venezuela -- Navigating Polarization and Uncertainty 20 11:05 AM
Discussant Maria Perez West Virginia University 15 11:25 AM

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