Please circulate: Last call for presenters on domestic drug ethnographies

American Anthropological Association Meetings
Denver, CO, December 18-22, 2015

At “Home” in the Field:
Proximity and Perspectives in Ethnographies of Drug Use

Positionality is an important concern for ethnographers of drug use, and takes on particular complexities when this research takes place ‘at home.’ They must navigate particular forms of proximity and distance – social, spatial, political economic, historical, affective, etcetera – which are continually transformed over the course of long-term ethnographic engagement. As the familiar is made strange, and the strange familiar, the ethical, political and personal stakes of our ethnographic encounters are often remade in revelatory – and at times heartbreaking – ways. In this round table, we invite presenters to offer a reflexive account of how ambiguous borders between ‘the field’ and ‘home’ can shape ethnographies of drug use, in order to better understand how anthropologists position themselves – and are positioned – in these complex exchanges. Topics might include:

  1. Participant observation/the consumption of drugs/proximity to crime
  2. Proximity to our interlocutors ‘outside of’ our study or ‘the field’
  3. The anthropologist as ‘insider,’ ‘outsider,’ or insider and outsider
  4. The role played by time (long term ethnographic engagement) in blurring the boundaries between ‘home’ and ‘the field,’ and/or ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’
  5. Moments of sea change or crisis in which the boundaries between ‘home’ and ‘the field,’ and/or ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ shift
  6. The personal stakes of our research

Please send 250-word abstracts to Tazin Daniels ( and Danya Fast ( by April 14, 2015. We will notify you of acceptance ASAP so you will have time to submit individually if necessary. We look forward to your contributions!