Accepted Paper:

Situating ethnography in the interstice  


Theodoros Kyriakides (University of Cyprus)

Paper short abstract:

The paper describes fieldwork I conducted with thalassaemia patients in Cyprus. Using the concepts of "the interstice" and of "affect" I propose an ethnographic modality which, through movement and stasis, strives to locate the creatively and affirmatively connective in the everyday lives of patients.

Paper long abstract:

This paper comes from fieldwork I conducted with thalassaemia

patients in Cyprus. Thalassaemia is one of the most common chronic blood

disorders worldwide, and is especially prevalent in countries around the

Mediterranean basin. Borrowing from Isabelle Stenger's concept of "the

interstice" as a relational assemblage which takes place in the in-between,

and also recruiting the concept of "affect" which has garnered considerable

momentum in philosophical and anthropological circles, I situate ethnography

beyond the setting of the clinic and into the creative practices of

relational resourcefulness and experimentation patients engage in their

everyday lives. Such relational play not only serves in coping with personal

pathology, but is also fuelled by patients' desires, responsibilities and

obligations. My aim is to invert the hierarchy which often distinguishes

medical ethnography: to write about pathological subjects, not as part of a

clinical setting and network, but of such setting and network as part of and

partial to such pathological subjectivities, accounting only for a small

percentage of their daily activities, concerns, struggles, whims, ambitions

and pleasures. I conclude by deliberating as to what a modality of situating

ethnography in the interstice entails; to delve in the interstice invites

ethnography to strive and identify the creatively, affirmatively and

affectively connective, or where this is blocked and subjugated in the

everyday lives of patients, and to accordingly exercise ethnographic

movement, but also stasis, so as to access and conceptualize otherwise


Panel P027
Immateriality, mobility and the network (ANTHROMOB)