I have just returned from a very nice visit to the University of Vienna where I was giving a one day workshop on research methods for graduate students in the social sciences. One part of the day was take up by presentations by the students, and another by a lecture by me. I shaped this lecture around a set of FAQs about research on/through the internet (questions that I have been asked frequently, and others that came up in the excellent papers the students had written for the colloquium). The idea was that this form allows a discussion of the epistemic issues as well as the craft of discussing methodology. It worked really well, if I judge by the liveliness of the discussion, and the fact that we moved between philosophical and practical concerns when debating each of these FAQs.
This was also the occasion to see Ulrike Felt and Astrid Mager again, and catch up on what we’ve been doing the last year or so. They took me to the most charming little restaurants in the neighbourhood of the university, which was a great way to get a taste of Vienna. Somehow, however, I must go back… not only because I didn’t manage to eat any viennoiseries while I was there, but also because it might be nice to further explore the challenge of doing ethnography with scholars who are not working in labs, which turned out to be a common interest, for example in this project.