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The confining brought by the pandemic turned homes into both objects and places of research, and it drew attention to the widespread problems with housing. The current crisis is an experiment in living ethnography, which entails rethinking our interlocutors, as well as our outputs and commitments.
We propose questioning what a home is and what it does methodologically and epistemologically through a series of home-based, multimodal ethnographies. We recall reflections on the 'anthropology at home' from thirty years ago, which were focused on renewing the discipline of anthropology and repatriating discourses of the self. But we discern important shifts in all those terms as well as in the role of our interlocutors, which demand our attention.
The current crisis is also inspiring reflections on what counts as anthropology or research, and about what it might mean to do ethnography these days. We also suggest approaching home from the point of view of diverse processes and politics of locating, so opening up even further the object and modes of inquiry in anthropology and cognate fields (ethnology, geography, sociology, STS, etc.) We also suggest rethinking anthropology's aspirations as a discipline, as well as its ethos and ethics.
We will gather reflections on how the pandemic reconfigurations have impelled us to reconsider what a home is and does. Our call is explicitly generic so people can interpret these matters from their background and research interests. In this panel, we especially welcome experimental, collaborative, multimodal ethnographies that reflect on home-making during the pandemic from a methodological point of view. We feel impelled to invent new forms of collaboration and narration in the field, as well as to reconsider which ethnographic devices will allow us to research from home and to extend our epistemic imaginaries from the domestic space.
Lydia Maria Arantes (University of Graz)