P25
Perilous proximities: Challenges of closeness

Convenors:
James Williams (Zayed University)
Charlotte Bruckermann (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Discussant:
Maxim Bolt (University of Birmingham)
Location:
Room 4
Start time:
15 April, 2015 at 9:15
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel explores how intimate, mutual, and symbiotic relations can turn perilous. It considers the ways people deal with the forces of incorporation, the predatory nature of intimacy, and the enclosures of closeness that people face by living in proximity with others.

Long abstract:

This panel explores how people manage their relational entanglements with others. We propose an engagement with spaces and situations of human togetherness where people struggle to maintain their lives as part of and apart from each other. How do people succeed and fail in distancing, detaching, and separating themselves from those around them? How can we think about closeness - spatially, ethically, or emotionally - as hazardous, exhausting, risk-laden, or lethal? We aim to compare how people avert or negotiate the forces of incorporation, the predatory nature of intimacy, and the enclosures of closeness that sustain but also may engulf and endanger life, thus how intimate, mutual, and symbiotic relations can turn perilous. We solicit co-panellists whose work explores the tensions and labours entailed in how people negotiate their closest relationships. We welcome ethnographically-grounded papers that embrace the challenges people face by living with, through, and as part of others. In the mundaneness of the everyday, or in circumstances of precariousness or dependency, how and when can symbiotic and intimate relations threaten life? How do perilous proximities heighten and dissipate within the life course? How can people extricate themselves from dense and dangerous entanglements? What are the ethical, emotional, or economic consequences of cutting off, shutting out, and repelling others? How do people manage the possibilities and slippages between affection and animosity that emerge from human closeness?