Special event with Charles Foster: Beasts in African Studies? Radical reflections on research methodologies
In this special event, Dr Harry Wels and Prof. Jan-Bart Gewald will have a curated conversation with Professor Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast (2016), a New York Times Bestseller. Charles Foster is a phenomenon; he does not fit any format. Read his books, and you will agree! In 2016 Prof. Foster received, together with ‘goat man’ Thomas Thwaites, the satiric Ig Nobel Prize, a prize for unusual or trivial scientific research that make people laugh first, but afterwards makes them think twice. The ASCL seminar on 7 November will not try to mold Professor Foster into any regular expectation of an academic seminar either. The seminar will be a ‘curated conservation’ in the sense of ‘carefully chosen’ as the dictionary defines the word ‘curated’. The heart and carefulness of the conversation will be a series of radical reflections on qualitative research methodologies that rely on taking participant observation and empathy in the field to its limits. These reflections will be related to what they might mean for a perspective on African Studies that increasingly includes non-human animals. The conversation will take place in the framework of the Collaborative Research Group Trans-species perspectives on African Studies, of which Dr Wels is the convenor and Prof. Gewald a member.