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Doing ethnography of contemporary 'spiritual' practices: methodological challenges towards relationality, communication, and presence [Contemporary 'Spiritual' Practices Network] 
Nicolas Boissière (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Laure Montarry (Paris-Nanterre University)
Yael Dansac (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
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Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This face-to-face panel of the Contemporary 'Spiritual' Practices network gathers papers that discuss the regimes of relationality, communication, and presence in doing ethnography of contemporary spiritualities.

Long Abstract:

As anthropologists keep discussing the 'reflexive turn' and the possible ways of conducting critical reflections on their integration, interaction, and departure within the milieus they work with, our discipline continues to be held accountable for reproducing Eurocentric paradigms and power imbalances in researcher-interlocutor relationships (Leve, 2022). At the same time, scholars focused on extraordinary experience, interbeing rituality, or healing have proposed analytical frameworks for fostering horizontal knowledge co-production, valorising non-Western ontologies, and legitimizing alternative sources of knowledge (Meintel, Béguet & Goulet, 2020; Chamel & Dansac, 2022; Pierini, Groisman & Espírito Santo, 2023).

Following on from these reflections, we would like to discuss the establishment of methodological tools that creates a conversation within the "regimes" (Espírito Santo & Blanes, 2014) of relationality, communication, and presence. We are specifically interested by the entire production chain of ethnography, from gaining access to the field and collecting data, to sharing our findings among peers and beyond. As ethnographers, how do we relate, communicate, and are in presence with both the humans we work with and the other-than-humans with whom our respondents interact? How can we name, describe, and interpret different ways of relating, communicating, and being present in the field? How can we use our subjectivity, empathy, reflexivity, critical concepts, and so on to do so?

Considering ethnographic research on contemporary 'spiritual' practices, we invite papers that deal with these questions in this face-to-face panel. Papers proposing other reflections based on relationality, communication, and presence in 'spiritual' fieldworks are also welcome.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -