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SIRC Investigator Series: Conversations with Researchers (Dr. Suchitra Samanta)

Ended Apr 21, 2021
1 credit

Full course description

Term: Spring 2021

Date: April 21st, 2021

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm


Instructor: Kory Trott

Presented By: Scholarly Integrity & Research Compliance (SIRC)



The Ethics of the Personal Narrative as ‘Data’ in Human Subject-based Fieldwork, in India and in the U.S.

The SIRC Investigator Series: Conversations with Researchers initiative provides Virginia Tech researchers with a forum to share the ethical considerations that guide their research. Dr. Suchitra Samanta will be discussing her experiences in two very different and consecutive research projects, on Muslim women and education in India, and on Asian/American women in U.S. community colleges. As a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Samanta's research methods are largely qualitative, and require in-person interaction with human subjects over a period of time. This interaction can involve discrepancies of power, and a need for reflexive awareness on the part of the researcher and his or her position relative to the research participant. When the ‘data’ sought is a personal narrative or a life history, how to frame research questions to a participant; how to, ethically, present such narratives in work to be published; and how to include (in published work) possible power inequities involved in a research interaction requires researchers to be aware of diverse factors impacting privacy and confidentiality.

Dr. Suchitra Samanta is a Collegiate Associate Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in the Department of Sociology. She teaches courses on feminist activism, global and transnational gender inequity issues, feminist theory, and on the ‘Asian American Experience. Dr. Samanta has a B.A. in Literature from Kolkata University, and Master’s degree in Drama and doctoral degree in Cultural Anthropology both from the University of Virginia.