Sponsored by the Section for the
Status of Women (SSW) and
the Gender and Sexualities
Taskforce (GST) of the Society for Ethnomusicology
with training in ethnographic methodologies, conducting fieldwork can feel like
jumping into unknown waters, with little choice other than to improvise as
unforeseen circumstances arise.
some of these issues can be worked through with a faculty advisor whose
research and life experience differs significantly from the fieldworker's own,
others benefit from the input of people who have found themselves in similar
This project aims to connect
students and scholars undertaking new fieldwork projects with scholars whose
research experiences speak to a variety of challenges related to gender and/or
sexuality in fieldwork contexts.
Concerns can include logistical topics, social etiquette, self
(re)presentation, personal safety, and confronting harassment or abuse.
program arose in response to a widely expressed need for a network through
which students and scholars can address a range of issues that are often
context-specific and of an intensely personal nature. A crucial characteristic
of this program is that the information gathered in order to connect
fieldworkers with mentors is kept as private as possible.
Only two appointed members of the program
staff have access to information provided to aid in matching Mentors and
Mentees, and it is required that all program participants keep the information
shared by other participants in confidence.
Our hope is that this program will facilitate the candid conversation,
support, and advice that many researchers sorely need.
individual who has completed extended fieldwork can volunteer as a mentor.
can join this program at any time before, during, or immediately following
fieldwork. Although fieldwork is presented here as the grounding subject for
this program, junior scholars who are experiencing challenges related to gender
and/or sexuality within the discipline can also contact the mentor program
We also welcome the
involvement of spouses and significant others who will be accompanying a
researcher during his or her fieldwork term, or those who have accompanied a
fieldworker as a romantic partner or family member.
Such individuals should complete either the
mentee or the mentor information sheet (whichever one most closely approximates
their situation—whether the person is looking to advise or be advised), and
notify the Program Coordinator of the specifics of their situation.
How It Works:
who are interested in serving as a mentor fill out the mentor information
sheet; those who would like to be paired with a mentor fill out the advisee
These are submitted
to the designated SSW/GST Mentor Program Coordinator.
Based on the concerns of the advisee, the
coordinator will find a mentor whose experiences speak to the issues of most
concern to the applicant.
a potential mentor to confirm his or her availability and willingness to
participate, the coordinator will introduce the mentor and advisee via email.
are expected to respond to intermittent communications from their advisees in a
They are not responsible
for facilitating connections in the site of fieldwork or within academic
circles, or for reading the advisee's academic prose.
While a mentor might volunteer to assist a
mentee in additional domains, his or her only responsibility is to help the
mentee confront and process fieldwork concerns and dilemmas.
mentor's perspective does not represent the SSW, GST, or any other collective;
it is recommended that the advisee weigh all advice carefully before choosing his
or her own course of action.
It is imperative that mentors,
advisees, and coordinators keep personal information about other participants
in strict confidence.
Any violations of
this confidence will be taken seriously and should be reported to the SSW
mentor program coordinator, or a SSW or GST chair.
A note to
make your students aware of this resource.
As students prepare for fieldwork, you may wish to suggest they connect
with a mentor at the outset, or encourage them to keep this option in mind.
an updated database (with the help of the tech officer)
in a prompt fashion (1 week) to mentee requests
in contact with the Program Overseer about any problems, ethical dilemmas, or
any large imbalances between the number of mentors and mentees.
If maintaining coordinating duties proves too
large a work commitment, it is the Program Coordinator's responsibility to
notify the Program Overseer.
in regular contact with all other program officers.
Inform the outreach/publicity coordinator and
tech officer of the program's specific needs
logistical problems, questions, and concerns that arise in the program's
in, should the Program Coordinator become unavailable or the volume of
applicants become too much for one person to manage.
Access to the mentor/mentee database will be
granted in communication with the program coordinator
Officer will work closely with the Program Overseer and the Program Coordinator
in creating and maintaining an online presence, as well as an easily navigable
The Tech officer
may be asked to help create surveys, or other devices through which to
facilitate communication between program officers and program participants.
Program Publicity and Outreach
Program Publicity and Outreach Coordinator is in charge of spreading awareness
of the program.
Along with the Program
Overseer, she will collect and make a record of feedback from program
participants and members of the broader community who have expressed interested
in the program.
CURRENT SSW/GST MENTORING PROGRAM
any questions, comments, or concerns to the Program Overseer.
Mentor or Mentee Forms can be sent to (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Overseer: Corinna Campbell ( email@example.com)
Coordinator: Ellen Koskoff: (
and Outreach Coordinator: Katharine Stuffelbeam
Officer: Margaret Cayward
If you would like to take part in
this program as a Mentor or Mentee, please fill out the appropriate form and
email it to
Any questions can be directed to
the Program Overseer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society for Ethnomusciology and its constituent groups are not responsible for any information or advice offered through the Fieldwork Mentoring Program. Information and advice offered does not necessarily represent the views of the Society for Ethnomusicology or its constituent groups.