This panel asks how affect and sensory perception create experiences of home and belonging and how these constitute ways of 'being in the world'. It treats 'senses of home' and sensations of 'being at home' as moments of embodied, sensory engagement with material objects and social/political worlds.
'Home' is a central conceptualization within the organization of most people's everyday social and material worlds, often understood as a specific intimate place, a sanctuary from the tumultuous public sphere. The idea of 'feeling at home'—a sentiment embedded in complex emotional attachments—is commonly invoked to describe people's comfort within the space of the home as well as within their broader social realms, from neighborhoods to nations. But what of one's 'sense of home' or the sensation of 'being at home'? These conceptualizations focus attention acutely on how affect and sensory perception create experiences of home and on how these experiences create a way of 'being in the world'. To explore people's processes of place-making, these papers draw on recent work in the anthropology of embodiment and the senses to consider the creation of home and belonging as a moment of embodied, sensory engagement with material objects and the social world. The session focuses on how people create a sense of home and being at home through their movements within and between sensuous material and social worlds and on how these sensory experiences take on meaning within larger cultural and political contexts. We welcome papers that interrogate the sensory construction and embodied experiences of home and belonging, whether in people's domestic lives or more broadly in their neighborhoods, communities, cities, or nations.