AAA (American Anthropological Association) 2021 Panel - Call for Papers
Panel Title: Sedimentations of Place in the Unsettled City
Submission deadline: May 17, 2021
AAA Annual Meetings: November 17-21 2021 in Baltimore, MD
Organizers: Joella Bitter (ACLS Fellow) & Bettina Ng’weno (UC Davis)
Discussant: Marina Peterson (UT Austin)
Panel Abstract: Building on an anthropology of the city (Brash 2006, Low 1996), this panel aims to further pry open “the city” by tarrying with the material and sensorial relationships that accrue between cities and their residents even while hanging in suspension/motion (Choy and Zee 2015, Stewart 2011, Nuttall and Mbembe 2008). With this concern, we join growing ethnographic attention to the ways in which the felt textures of place matter to the city, atmospherically, temporally, affectively, and infrastructurally (Peterson 2021, Solomon 2019, Mains 2019, Gordillo 2014, Simone 2004, Feld and Basso 1996). In attending to city-as-relation, we wish also to interrogate “the city” for the ways it continues to be undergirded by modernity as a colonial, racialized project (Bowles 2021, Ng’weno 2018, Pierre 2018, Mbembe 2013) and its contemporary formations are everyday suffused with the afterlives of these pasts (Caverly 2018, Sharpe 2017). How do urban residents live in and through rapidly changing cities? How do their attunements to the long duree of place remake the city? How to residents create spaces of belonging that transgress forces that would confine or evict them? Papers on this panel will foreground the practices through which residents relate to and remake their cities while living through interplays of fixity and flux, suffusions of toxicity and joy, dispersals of memory and sense, accumulations of labor and infrastructure.
We especially welcome submissions for works experimenting with craft/form and uncertain modes of ethnographic attunement. We do hope this will be an in-person session.