In their contribution to the “Covid-19 and the Social Sciences” series, Elisabeth Jean Wood, Douglas Rogers, K. Sivaramakrishnan, and Rene Almeling explain that for the foreseeable future, research in many field sites will face complex ethical and logistical challenges, and argue that immersive ethnographic field research will likely be among the last areas of academic research to resume something resembling its prepandemic rhythms. They reflect on the necessary conditions for the resumption of US-based or international field research and propose a series of principles that academic institutions can follow in order to avoid promulgating unresponsive, blanket policies.
K. Sivaramakrishnan is Dinakar Singh Professor of Anthropology, professor of forestry and environmental studies, and codirector of the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University. He also codirects the Yale Inter Asia Initiative and jointly coordinates the combined PhD program in anthropology and forestry and environmental studies. Having previously worked on forest management and wildlife conservation in India, his current research and writing focuses on environmental jurisprudence in India and urban ecology in Asia. Sivaramakrishnan has published work in environmental history, agrarian studies, political anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural geography, and Asian Studies. Most recently he is the coeditor of Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism (with Anne Rademacher; Hong Kong University Press, 2017); and Nature Conservation in the New Economy: People, Wildlife and the Law in India (with Ghazala Shahabuddin; Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2019). Sivaramakrishnan serves in the editorial collective of the Journal of Peasant Studies, and edits a book series titled Culture, Place and Nature for the University of Washington Press; he also coedits another book series titled Global South Asia, also at the University of Washington Press. He serves on the Human Subjects Committee, Yale University.