Home Field

Archive results:

¿Somos Mamás, Verdad?: Motherhood as a Recombination of “Home” and “Field”

The week of my daughter’s first birthday party, I learned I was pregnant with our second child. I was preparing for a yearlong ethnographic fieldwork stay in Mexico City, to research the experience of deafness from the perspectives of deaf youth and their families. I quickly re-organized my research timeline to fly home at the midway point of my fieldwork to give birth, and return to Mexico City soon after. Though I did not have a theoretical framing for it at the time, I realize now that this arrangement exemplifies “patchwork ethnography” which draws attention to “how anthropologists have been innovating methods and epistemologies to contend with intimate, personal, political, or material concerns” (Günel et al. 2020). In this essay, I ask: how does being a mother and mothering in the field contribute to my ethnographic enterprise? And: how can reflecting on “motherhood” help identify points of resonance with mothers and children in the field and also disentangle imbalances that persist between researcher and participants?

Read More »

Greening, Browning, and the Myth of Sustainability: A Conversation with Melissa Checker and Brie Berry

In her book, The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice (2020, NYU Press), Melissa Checker explores the drivers and consequences of environmental gentrification in New York City. Based on ethnographic work with community activists in and beyond Staten Island, Checker traces the process through which sustainability programs and policies lead to “greening” in some (privileged, wealthy) communities and “browning” in others.

Read More »

What Happened in Georgia? On Suburbs and Other Anthropological Blind Spots

On January 6, 2021, as a mob of white Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, voters in Georgia inaugurated a new era by delivering a key victory for Biden and the Democratic Party. While confirming the status of Georgia as a new battleground state, the elections also revealed that this battle is increasingly being fought in the suburbs, particularly in once-Republican, majority-white communities now home to growing numbers of Black, Asian, and Latinx residents. What have we done, as anthropologists, to understand these places and their growing social and political polarization? Here, Elisa Lanari takes a look at the insurgent publics and resurgent white politics of suburban Atlanta by reflecting on ongoing transformations in her fieldsite of Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Read More »

On “Making Global MBAs”: Nazli Azergun in Dialogue with Andrew Orta

In his 2019 book, Making Global MBAs: The Culture of Business and the Business of Culture, Andrew Orta delves into the world of the MBA education—one of the most prestigious of graduate programs in the United States and the world—to show how they engage with and incorporate culture in their professional practice. In revealing how MBAs convert unique cultural specificities into manageable risk factors, Orta also surveys the history of business education and critiques its streamlining disposition towards a complex world and its problems. In this piece, Nazli Azergun converses with Andrew Orta on navigating business settings as an anthropologist, delicacies of conducting ethnographies in organizations, dialogues across sub-fields of anthropology, and the current condition of universities under neoliberal governance regimes.

Read More »

On “Asian America” and Multiracial Solidarity: A Conversation between Jong Bum Kwon and Elizabeth Hanna Rubio

How are transgressive multiracial coalitions built and sustained? What are the affective and epistemological limits of individually-oriented “how-to” anti-racism work? With an ethnographic focus on Black-Asian solidarity work, what impasses in collective identity emerge to beg the question, what is Asian America? Home/Field brought Jong Bum Kwon and Elizabeth Hanna Rubio into conversation to discuss these and more themes, based on Rubio’s recent publication in Journal for the Anthropology of North America.

Read More »

Anthropologists Call on the Biden Administration to Cease the Separation of Im/migrant Families and the Detention of Children

We urge the Biden administration to cease separating im/migrant families through the misuse of public health policy Title 42 and to ease the myriad restrictions constraining individuals’ right to seek asylum, including the detention of children in all forms. In this statement and call to action, we draw on our expertise as anthropologists to historicize family separation and to argue for immediate action to defend the human rights of im/migrants and refugees.

Read More »

Stories on the Edge of the Sea

Visual Essay by Ryan Anderson

“And yet, like that single human figure, and the others throughout these images, we humans swim, play, contemplate, push back, and adapt. We persist. Despite the enormity and immensity and inevitability of it all.”

Read More »

Reimagining Native North America at the Field Museum: An Interview with Alaka Wali

Interview by Ana Croegaert

“In the past few decades some museums of ‘natural history’ have revisited their collections and reexamined their curatorial practices in efforts to shift away from grand narratives grounded in museums’ roles in imperial formations to foster spaces wherein artifacts can be engaged as dynamic and agentive, and as having the capacity to generate dialogue, disagreement, and affect among museumgoers.”

Read More »
Skip to content