Uneasy places: shifting research boundaries and displacing selves

Isabel Rodrigues (University of Massachusetts)
Frédéric Vidal
Tower A, Piso 0, Room 2
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel examines the making of uneasy places through: religious belonging and criminalization of migration, diasporic communities of language and song, the construction of in between places, and the making of vacation and tourist places.

Long abstract:

The relationship between place and culture has been the hallmark of the ethnographic inquiry shaping research design within anthropology and across the disciplines. While social life is inconceivable without boundaries, how these are politically constituted and inscribed in power relations remains theoretically contentious. This panel is designed to bring together an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars to critically reflect on and destabilize pervasive understandings about place, temporality, and space by engaging its multiple configurations and entrapments in relationships of power and domination. Particularly, we are interested in accounting for and exploring the making of uneasy places, non-places, places of temporary belonging, and displacement. Implicitly or explicitly, underlying all the papers is a theoretical understanding that the making of place is not simply shaped by free will or a neutral human desire for belonging. Rather, processes of belonging and not belonging are deeply contentious, often tangential or fractured, and in many social situations denied or unattainable. Topically we will examine various modalities of making uneasy places and non-places across time and place. These will include: religious belonging in places of illegality and state violence; the making of diasporic communities of language and song within a matrix of fractured ethnicities and national histories; the construction of in between places through anti-immigrant policies; and the making of vacation and tourist places where boundaries of time and space redefine belonging.