In the past several decades ethnographers have struggled to find the methodological postures appropriate for what seems to be an intensely globalising world, and for there has been a very productive opening up of space in research analysis. In this article, I examine a second dimension that I think ethnographers of migration should consider: time. Ethnographers must confront the co-existence of multiple temporalities in the intensive on-the-ground learning in the intimate sites of inter-subjective communication of fieldwork. I classify three different temporalities at stake in the migration process: indeterminacy, chronology and convergence. I concentrate on Italy as a terrain of disparate migratory projects and temporal junctures and what the implications of these different zones of engagement mean methodologically for anthropological fieldwork. Migration research necessarily calls upon other places and other times both in terms of how those ethnographic practices are enacted and in the production of knowledge. I draw upon Fabian’s challenge to ethnographers to analyse both the reflexive dilemmas for an researchers studying mobility through a nation-space and how that research is informed by other places, other times.
Keywords: Temporality, fieldwork, ethnography, migration, Italy.