Towards a Critical Fugitive Transdisciplinary Methodology

Seyfullah Ozkurt
Political Science
UC Irvine

Inspired by Critical Refugee Studies and Border Studies that utilize the refugee/migrant as a theoretical lens to examine political inclusion/exclusion, our interdisciplinary working group develops a transdisciplinary methodology to study political agency at the intersection of race, migration, technology, and violence. We see an increasing convergence on these issues and analytical frameworks. We study them as both perilous and welcome. Perilous because datafication and surveillance in the service of security and racial capitalism create an encompassing biopolitical system that objectifies, displaces, and exploits. Welcome, because this transformation renders the boundaries and hierarchies that held older domination systems together untenable. At this juncture, we require new ways of thinking to create a deeper dialogue between humanities and social sciences. We observe the resurging interpretivist methodologies in social science as a step towards this coupling. This group entails collaboration between doctoral students whose own research will inform each other’s methodological approaches. To this end, we organize methods workshops and public symposiums and publish a series of blog posts about fieldwork and academic collaboration on Foundry. These culminate into a collaboratively written, publishable article on transdisciplinary fugitive methods that addresses the methodological challenges of studying refuge.