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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 developing country such as Mexico 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; or the sudden realization that you are becoming your own subject of study; among others when Mexico’s economic struggles, context of violence and insecurity not only limits access to the field, but can forcefully expel us from it.


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