Methodological Interruptions Across the Field and Archive: Doing STS in Mexico

Throughout our investigative processes, whether in the field or the archive, we have encountered and experienced a number of interruptions. Rather than dismissing them as epistemic obstacles or methodological noise, our position as STSers in a postcolonial context has attuned us to recognize them as provocations that allow us to reposition and retool our approaches. In this exhibit we bring interruptions to the fore, instantiated as a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City that abruptly ended a patient interview; the jarring image of a cancerous tumor laid out on a tray instead of pristine slides expected to find catalogued in a biobank; the itinerary of a mobile radioisotope unit disrupted by the crashing of its transport train; when Mexico’s context of violence and insecurity not only limits access to the field, but forcefully expels us from it.

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