Data availability statement (for the spreadsheet I mentioned in the Indexing Data Types sketche):
This spreadsheet, what I’ve been calling my sugar library, contains around 500 itemized encounters, narratives, artifacts, physical objects, images, etc. all representing different forms of sugar(cane) that I came across during my research. The idea for this sugar library originated while writing my NSF DDRIG grant proposal, as I was imagining ways to track the “transformation” of sugarcane from a crop with a long, violent history into the feedstock of new sustainable futures (i.e. via sugarcane-based renewable biofuels and bioproducts). I realized that to track such a transformation, I would first need to understand what forms sugarcane had and was now taking. The library is capacious—I wasn’t too stringent about what could go in it—and throughout research and writing it's helped me trace different modalities of transformation of sugarcane, the crux of my dissertation.
I’ve been thinking about ways to share this library since I wrote the grant proposal. It shows the expansive social life of sugarcane and might be of interest to other researchers of renewable materials, sugarcane or other industrial agriculture crops, or biotech and scientific knowledge production. It may also function as a model for this “method,” what could be conceived as a real-time implosion exercise during fieldwork (Dumit 2014) crossed with “following the thing.” I hesitate to even call it a method; it’s a strategy for structuring attunement and attention, the heart of the ethnographic method. The sugar library (and my research) was less about following a thing (sugarcane) as much as trying to find it in as many unexpected places as possible, in as many unexpected forms as possible. It was about imploding the very thing such that following it was not possible in any stabilized sense. (I have more theorizing and reflection on this in my dissertation, and again it relates very directly to the actual content of my dissertation’s argument.)
Now, the sugar library will have a new life as shared data. I think it raises interesting questions about the extent to which it is already “processed” (not raw, though none of our data is raw). It reflects and manifests the construction of my attention and attunement, but certainly in a much “rawer” way than my written analyses.
The sugar library has been anonymized and some items were removed because they could not be effectively anonymized.
This is my completed sketch for Data Availability Statement.
Katie Ulrich, 11 June 2022, "Katie Ulrich. Completed Data Availability Statement Sketch.", contributed by Katie Ulrich, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 11 June 2022, accessed 3 October 2023. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/katie-ulrich-completed-data-availability-statement-sketch