In the Duden encyclopedia it says: a nomad is a “member of a (pastoral) people that is moving within a limited area”. But within the context of the CRC’s research on affects and emotions the project nomad does not take care of animals. And she deals with a multi-sited ethnography on the movement of different (research)areas only to some extent.
Indeed the project nomad does not belong directly to any of the CRC’s subprojects. Instead, her work consists – and that is the reason for the title project nomad – in moving constantly across all the subprojects. The project nomad participates at the meetings of subprojects, during the development of interview guidelines, attends discussions of criteria for selection data and material, their sighting and analysis as well as theoretical debates of the interdisciplinary working groups. She aims to encourage the reflection of methodological strategies, to gather applications, techniques, methods, conceptualizations and methodological challenges and to communicate back to the CRC. She supports the exchange about methods across projects and about collected data and material across the whole CRC in order to help shape the practical cooperation and method development. The permanent moving across all subprojects allows her to point out early emerging overlappings between subprojects and thus strengthen the connections between them.
Besides the “interdisciplinary” function, the project nomad uses an ethnographical lens to observe the research practices of such a big interdisciplinary alliance that is the CRC. By moving around she does not only look over the researcher’s shoulder but also listens to talks and discussions from the respective discipline’s viewpoints within an interdisciplinary constellation. This allows insights into the practical functions of science within a scientific network. Altogether the “nomadic technique” aims to comparatively observe the different disciplinary approaches, to support the transfer and exchange of knowledge, to generate insights into the practical functioning of a scientifical network and to contribute to the development of integrative methods of analyzing affects and emotion across projects.