The French-Sudanese Autumn School (Master/Phd) – From October 24th to 31st 2015, in Khartoum

The CEDEJ Khartoum, together with the University of Khartoum, has organized from October 24th to 31st 2015 a French-Sudanese Doctoral School in Khartoum.

The main aim of this School was to train Master/Doctoral students coming from Sudanese/French universities to all the different aspects of the fieldwork in social sciences: interviews, questionnaires, selection and delimitation of a field work, as well as data processing and analysis. DSC_0317 DSC_0319 DSC_0338 DSC_0349TEACHING TEAM: The team was composed by French and Sudanese advanced researchers and teachers from various social sciences backgrounds (Anthropology, Geography, History, Socio-Linguistics, Political Sciences, Urban Studies) with longstanding experience of fieldwork and scientific research in Sudan. The team coordinated the school both by the implementation of workshops (methodology, research questions, data processing) and the training and coordination of fieldwork surveys, aiming at matching the various competences for stressing the interdisciplinary approach both at methodological and theoretical level.

  • French partners :
    Alice FRANCK, CEDEJ coordinator CEDEJ-PRODIG (Geography)
    Barbara CASCIARRI, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Catherine MILLER, CNRS-IREMAM Aix-Marseille University (Socio-Linguistics)
    Elena VEZZADINI, CNRS-IMAF (History)
  • Sudanese partners :
    Munzoul ASSAL, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Ibrahim BAHAR AD-DIN, University of Khartoum (Urban Studies)
    Al-Amin ABU MANGA, Institute of Afro-Asian Studies (Linguistics)
    Noha TAYB HAMZA, University of Khartoum (Anthropology)
    Zahir M. ABDEL-KARIM, University of Khartoum-Max Planck Institute (Anthropology)
    Salma M. ABDALLA, University of Khartoum-Bayreuth University (Political Sciences/Geography)

DSC_0331DSC_0335STUDENTS TEAM: The team was composed by French, European and Sudanese Master and PhD students with analogous social sciences backgrounds, whose research projects are based on qualitative approaches and focus on different topics and African countries (not only Sudan). They were asked to follow the training both by implementing their capacities in different steps of field survey, fieldwork/theory connection, interdisciplinary and comparative approach, and by making the group benefit from their former experience on different fieldwork contexts. Besides the work they carried out under the coordination of the teaching staff in workshops and surveys, they shared moments of autonomous collective work for data processing and reflection.

  • French students :
    Jeanne BOSSY, Master, Lyon University (Geography):
    Clément DESHAYES, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Sociology/Anthropology)
    Peter MILLER, Master, University Paris 8 (Anthropology)
    Francesco STARO, PhD, University Paris 8-LAVUE (Anthropology)
    Paolo SANTAGOSTINI, PhD, University Paris 8-LADYSS (Geography)
    Anne-Laure MAHÉ, PhD, University of Montréal (Political Sciences)
  • Sudanese students :
    Aroub AL FAKI TAHA , Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Doria AL-HADY, PhD – Lecturer, UoK (Economy)
    Hind MAHMOUD HUSSEIN, PhD, Ahfad University (Gender studies)
    Khadega MOHAMMED SALIH, Master, University of Khartoum (Anthropology/Gender Studies)
    Mariam SHARIF, Master, UoK (Anthropology)
    Mohasim YOUSSIF, PhD, University of Khartoum (History)


The programme of the School

DAY 1. Saturday, October 24th – in CEDEJ

9:30 – 11:00 am

  • Welcoming of the students by the supervising team
  • Presentation of the main goals of the School and of the working agenda
  • Presentation of the supervising team and their respective research in Sudan
  • Presentation of the students and their respective ongoing research

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • Introduction: approaches, methods, research questions. Each supervisor is invited to synthetically introduce an overview of its academic discipline following these 4 common lines of thought:
    – The history and bases of the discipline
    – The connection between theories, categories and survey methods
    – Inequalities as a research question
    – Academic production on Sudan

2:00 – 6:00 pm

  • Preparation for the field trips
  • Tools for the collection of data: observation, directive and semi-directive interviews, life stories, genealogical charts, maps, sketches
  • Identification of common research questions around the theme of inequalities
  • Illustration of the main operational concepts and categories to be used for the surveys
  • Reflexivity and issues about ethnographic dialogue : common protocol of the survey
  • General background about the selected places for the field trips

DAY 2. Sunday, October 25th – Tuti Island / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. First survey

“Urban agricultural practices and land conflicts in Khartoum: the case of the island of Tuti amid the Three Towns” – coordinators: A. Franck and I. Bahr El-Din

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 3. Monday, October 26th – Deim / CEDEJ

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Second survey

“The market as ethnographic site in a transforming popular area in the center of Khartoum: the Suk of Deim” – coordinator: B. Casciarri, accompained by Noha Hamza

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 4. Tuesday, October 27th – CEDEJ / UoK

9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Follow up and synthesis workshop 1

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
  • Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 1 and 2
  • Questions of methodology for field data collection (stemming from the surveys)
  • Synthesis discussion about the two first surveys:
    – Singular perspective on each field (Tuti and Deim)
    – Comparative perspective
    – Analytical perspective with focus on “inequalities”
    – Disciplinary perspective: crossing approaches of Social Sciences

3:00 – 5:30 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 1
  • Back to data: reformulation of the research questions
  • Documentation work and reading focusing on the surveys

DAY 5. Wednesday, October 28th – Institute of Afro-Asian Studies/ Hajj Yusif

9:00 – 12:00 am. Documentary sources

Visit and work on the documentary sources (written and audiovisual) of the IASS – coordinators: C. Miller and A. H. Mugaddem.

1:00 – 6:00 pm. Third survey

“Spatial, social and linguistic reconfigurations in former marginal neighborhoods recently integrated in Greater Khartoum: the case of Hajj Yusif « , coordinators: C. Miller and Al-Amin Abu Manga

DAY 6. Thursday, October 29th – Omdurman / CEDEJ

9:00am – 2:30 pm. Fourth survey

“Oral history workshop: historical dynamics and inequalities in the integration of former rural villages in Greater Khartoum: cases of Al-Salha and Serau” – coordinators E. Vezzadini and M. Assal, accompanied by Salma Abdalla and Zahir Abdel-Karim.

3:00 – 6:00 pm. Group work, in CEDEJ

Debriefing, classification of data, writing of the field notebook

DAY 7. Friday, October 30th – CEDEJ / outside

9:00 – 11:30 am. Follow up and synthesis workshop 2

  • Monitoring with the supervisors:
    – Analysis of the data collection carried out by the students on survey 3 and 4
    – Questions of methodologies regarding the combination of sources
    – General comments on the salient characteristics identified during the data collection, and methodological reflection on “survey practices”
    – Instructions for the preparation of synthesis papers/presentations for the conclusion

12:00 am – 4:00 pm. Autonomous group work by the students, in CEDEJ

  • Briefing on the issues discussed with the supervisors in the workshop 2 and on data development
  • Preparation for the presentations for the conclusion by French-Sudanese student “pairs”

4:30 – 8:00 pm. Final field trip and “participant observation”

  • During this final field trip, supervisors and students meet at the end of the day to attend one of these weekly events: either the Nuba wrestling in Hajj Yusif or the Sufi halaga in Sheikh Hammed An-Nil in Omdurman.

DAY 8. Saturday, October 31st – University of Khartoum


9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Presentations by the students of their final work

2:00 –4:30 pm. “Out from fieldwork”: comparative reflection, interdisciplinary perspectives, grounding theoretical debate on inequalities in fieldwork contexts

4:30 – 5:30 pm. General conclusion of the Doctoral School and future developments

The partners of the French – Sudanese Doctoral School: 

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