Letters from the Field

Hi, I’m Nadya. As a former 9 year old childhood diarist, life has brought me into full circle as I am now writing daily research fieldnotes for a living. Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the Sociology and Anthropology of Development, Wageningen University and Research (WUR), NL, and I am obsessed with labour in the conservation-agrarian nexus. In this blog I chronicle my creative process (a.k.a confusion, tension, bliss and … pragmatism). More.

Thanks for visiting!



From mid-November 2017, I am starting my year-long fieldwork in Gunung Leuser National Park (Leuser) and its surrounding area, especially in the Gayo Highlands. My research is a multi-sited ethnography. Due to the massive expanse of Leuser – located in two provinces: Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) and North Sumatra – I am travelling to different places such as Medan (the capital of North Sumatra), Banda Aceh (the capital of NAD), and a couple of remote districts in which some families has accepted me as their surrogate daughter. I am a bit nervous to finally do the “actual” fieldwork but my surrogate family’s hospitality has made me feel at home, while everyone else’s kind encounters have made my research enjoyable.

This section used to be my “latest blog” feed, but as I am starting my fieldwork, it will mostly be my letters from the field – written with a cup of chai or teh tarik on the side.

Wish me luck and ’til we meet again!

Photo credit: All photos at the homepage are taken by me, except my profile pic – taken by Atina Rosydiana.

Welcome to Wageningen

The Annual Introduction Days start this week. Blogger Nadya welcomes the new students to the best university of the Netherlands. I have been doing some thorough cleaning in my lovely attic studio to welcome new master’s students, who are going to crash this week for the AID on 18-23 August 2017. During the AID they’ll probably …

Academic Rockstar

During my time in Wageningen University and Research, I have been very fortunate to meet some of my academic rockstars. I have also had the opportunity to do three fantastic summer schools and some academic conferences where I met other amazing minds in my field of study. The highlights of my academic moments have been begging me to be written. I haven’t written them all, but here are some:

Anna Tsing

Erik Swyngedouw

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg

Rosaleen Duffy

Wolfram Dressler


Zurich Summer School

Academic Conference


Teaching assistant:

Research methodology


Research is more fun with friends and there’s more to life than research! Let’s sit down, relax, share a cup with me and tell me your stories! In this section, I will share life beyond research and what I do to relax.

I used to receive postcards:

Enjoy life in an idyllic Dutch countryside:

Travel the world:

and Welcoming all researchers who are embarking their journey! As part of a community, I am longing to hear more heartfelt musings to start the “difficult” conversations in academia and beyond, to make the community better. I read stuffs about people of color in academia, the adjunct crisis (as I am studying about labour myself), the proneness of PhDs to depression, and other public matters. Here I will start with sharing personal musings about my problems and matters that concern me. It is amazing to look back to see the things that used to make me worry were actually not as stressful as I’ve had imagined.

We are in this together!