Home Field

An online space for anthropological engagements with North America
A project of the Society for the Anthropology of North America


communities in crisis, spring 2023

“Welcome to the world of the polycrisis,” intones a historian in the pages of a global business newspaper. Pandemic, insurrection, rebellion, climate catastrophes, and financial instability are now global defining conditions that both have no singular origin and compromise our ability to live a good life. Or maybe it’s just the end of the liberal capitalist global order – the end of the “end of history.” Ethnographers within Marxist, feminist, and anticolonial genealogies, however, might take issue with the idea that “polycrisis” is unique to this moment, whether because it exceptionalizes cycles of speculation and collapse, dismisses the disorganization of social life under capitalism, centers North Atlantic hegemons, or frames liberal capitalism’s precarious and violent existence as a normative ideal. Whether examining the politics of mass mediated moral panics or the intimate spaces of frontline resistance, ethnographers should not relinquish our ability to theorize crisis in relation to communities. Nor should we obscure the politics of defining or locating crisis in relation to modernity, liberalism, or coloniality.

Home/Field welcomes proposals for submissions – including works in progress – that engage with the following topics across North American contexts:


  • The political, temporal, and “affect-generating” (Masco 2017) work of crisis: How is “crisis” leveraged as a tool of governance or social mobilization, and to what political effect (see Whyte 2020)?
  • Ethnographic engagements with crisis: How do ethnographers of North America navigate, document, and/or contest various iterations of “crisis” on the ground?
  • “Crisis actors” and moral panics that attempt to police the polycrisis
  • Crises of disciplinary anthropology: Amid calls to “let it burn” (Jobson 2020) and forge an anthropological praxis committed to anti-racism and material transformation (Welcome 2020), what are the stakes of doing anthropology today? How do anthropologists grapple with calls to reckon with, abolish, and decolonize institutionalized anthropology of North America?
  • Audiovisual submissions that visualize, evoke, or aesthetically represent  “crisis” from a specific entry point
  • The interface of crisis with the category of community. What kinds of communities are invoked by claims of crisis? What communities form in relation to crises?

Send us a brief pitch (max 300 words) that outlines your proposal and argument, a short bio, as well as any questions, to homefieldsubmission@gmail.com by March 10. The editorial collective will send out decisions within one week of receiving pitches. Final submissions will be double editor reviewed. Text-based submissions should be 1,500-2,500 words. Photo, video, or graphic submissions should include a written introduction (500 words max).

Masco, Joseph. 2017. “The Crisis in Crisis.” Current Anthropology 58 (S15): S65–76.

Jobson, Ryan Cecil. 2020. The case for letting anthropology burn: Sociocultural anthropology in 2019. American Anthropologist, 122(2), 259-271.

Welcome, Leniqueca A. 2020. After the Ash and Rubble Are Cleared: Anthropological Work for a Future. American Anthropologist website.  

Whyte, Kyle. 2020. “Against Crisis Epistemology.” In Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, 52–64. Routledge.

Our Name

Because many (although not all) ethnographers of North America are also from there in one sense or another, we also think about the politics and ethics of North American anthropological engagement through the idea of doing ethnography ‘at home.’ However, in our name and elsewhere, we emphatically do not suggest that 1. Anthropology’s proper home is any version of US American intellectual genealogy, geographic space, or neo-imperialist reach; or 2. That only people ‘from’ North America can or should do ethnography here. Indeed, not only do we welcome and encourage North American ethnographic engagement from diversely-situated scholars, but we also recognize and seek to foreground disciplinary contributions from the margins; from the global south; from Indigenous sovereign nations; from locations of US empire; and from historically excluded scholars. We imagine Home/Field as, in part, a space where we think about our obligations of care and experiment with accountability towards the people we learn with and from, as well as the broader spaces and places we call home.

Aim & Mission

Home/Field is a space for ethnographers of North America to contend with pressing issues through an anthropological lens, and to explore what anthropology as a discipline — methodology, theory, ethics, and more — can contribute to the imagination and enactment of a more just world. Home/Field is a project of the Society for the Anthropology of North America. We aim to publish short-form, dialogical, and multi-sensory work that exists in parallel to the long-form scholarly work found in the Journal for the Anthropology of North America to complement the research articles found in the journal.

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