This essay is part of three orals documents submitted by University of California, Irvine Anthropology doctoral student Angela Okunein partial fulfillment of her requirements for advancement to candidacy. Within UCI Anthropology, the orals documents typically take the form of three documents which cover major literatures that inform the doctoral research project.
Okune's doctoral research project is an investigation into how social scientists think about what constitutes good research in Africa, specifically probing for how the sharing of data is discussed and practiced as part of notions of ethical scholarly work. How do scientists grapple with an increased demand for public accountability and societal impact with the existing structures designed to minimize institutional risk and produce individual commodifiable outputs?
Okune's orals documents look at literatures that have contributed to current understanding of qualitative research (on technology and development) in Africa:
Science and Tech Studies in Africa: What have existing studies of science and tech in Africa been focused on? What discussions have transpired amongst scholars of science & tech in Africa about their own data practices? Okune takes a specific focus on STS work on the continent that has looked at data and capacity.
Decolonizing the African University: This document focuses on understanding how scholars have discussed investments in knowledge infrastructures on the African continent. What private/non-profit/government infrastructures have been developed for the sharing and production of scholarly knowledge?
Querying Research Collaboration: Okune queries analyses of collaboration with an eye for how global North-South dynamics have been discussed and researcher/researched relationships. What have academics attempted (methodologically; logistically; theoretically) as they have grappled with their own power and complicities?
The decision to leverage PECE for the orals documents is an attempt to meditate on the underlying expectations about outputs and milestones within the academy and to play with these assumptions, particularly important given the project topic. She queries these literatures using sets of structured analytics developed for STS in Africa here, investments into the African university here, and querying research collaboration here.
Keywords: qualitative research data sharing, expertise and capacity, relational ethics
AO: This text artifact provides basic framing details that explain the orals documents developed by Angela Okune in 2018 as part of her orals requirements within the UC Irvine Anthropology doctorate program.