Borderland: Critical Approaches to Field Research in the Global South (Summer 2018)

Course content

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to think critically about the research process, epistemologies, and ethics in the conduct of research. It combines classroom learning with field engagement and immersion in local environment that include meaningful interactions and placement with local NGOs or ongoing research projects in and around Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand.

Emphasizing the research process rather than the mastery of a specific topic or method, the aim is to provide students with the tools to raise and address critical questions in their own research and a foundation from which they can apply the knowledge and practices from the course to future projects.

We envision that, by the end of the course, each student will have produced a polished draft of a research project proposal (7-10 pages) that could be used for future engagement with the Global South, be it through research, policy, advocacy, or other pursuits. In addition, students are expected to develop and complete a group project and to make meaningful contributions to the organizations or research projects to which they are assigned.

Themes that will be addressed in the course in the context of globalization processes and borderland issues include:

  • Borders and boundaries
  • Mobilities and immobilities
  • Environment and natural resource management
  • Human in/security and social justice

Summer school course 2018.

The Summer course 2018 is closed for applications.

The course is expected to be repeated Summer 2019.

Learning outcome
  • For students to have a deeper understanding and insights of the issues facing the Global South and the world in the 21st
  • For students to be able to raise and address critical questions in their own research.
  • For students to engage with local NGOs and ongoing research projects, and integrate their knowledge/insights into their own research process.
  • For students to have a critical foundation from which they can apply the knowledge and practices from the course to future projects.
  • For students to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to the development of a research proposal.

Lecture, seminar style discussion and reflection, and field research.

The course is divided into four phases:
1.Pre-departure preparation: reading, online research on topics and contexts. (3 days’ work before June 25)
2.Introduction week: Classroom lectures, seminars, group work, field trips and preparation for entering the field (June 25-29)
3.Field research: Placement with NGOs and research projects. (July 2-12)
4.Evaluation and writing: Group presentations for invited stakeholders, writing and finalizing project proposals (July 12-18)

The program schedule may be subject to change since this is a field course and we need to build in some flexibility in order to be able to accommodate local circumstances and exigencies if necessary.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Course participation
Assessment will be based on a) active participation in the course including group work and b) submission of a well-developed research proposal.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 24
  • Field Work
  • 88
  • E-Learning
  • 72
  • Exam
  • 32
  • English
  • 216