Author Archives: Michelle Veljanovska

About Michelle Veljanovska

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Sociology and Social Policy (University of Sydney), where she also lectures and teaches topics covering human rights discourse, reconciliation, social suffering, postwar societies, civil conflict, international humanitarian law and aid, sexual violence in armed conflict, transitional justice, NGOs, and social protest. Her research and writing explore reconciliation initiatives in postwar Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia, where she has been actively engaged with local NGOs and practitioners for 11 years.

Ghosts of the field: rendering and retaining meaning

There are two sets of ghosts that we experience when visiting and engaging with field sites. The more obvious are the people whose worlds we seek to study, such as empirical ghosts. The other is the philosophical ghost, which underpins how we approach a particular point of enquiry. This latter ghost travels with us to the field, resting on our observations and indeed guiding how we see. But which “field ghost” remains to sculpt our knowledge, guiding the essence of our study?