Cfp_Keeping, Giving, and Waiting in Line: Ethnographies of the Bank

Keeping, Giving, and Waiting in Line: Ethnographies of the Bank. Call for abstracts for AAA/CASCA 2019. Abstracts March 27.

Many of the causes and consequences of the post-2007 global financial crisis unfolded in sites of everyday banking, from homeowners’ struggles to make mortgage payments to depositors’ worries over bank liquidity. But while a great deal of the scrutiny into this crisis and its reverberations has centered on high finance and global capital, relatively less attention has been paid to retail and commercial banks—those institutions of savings and lending, or “socialized hoards” (Peebles 2008), that constitute much of everyday finance around the world and in many of our fieldsites. This panel brings together ethnographic approaches to commercial and retail banks, everyday banking practices, and the limits or other of the bank. We propose that a richer anthropological understanding of finance depends on a fuller examination of its instantiation as an everyday phenomenon—in diverse forms of saving, investing, and borrowing and in lay theories of and anxieties over these activities. Moreover, we seek to contribute to that examination by facilitating conversation around one particular site of these practices, namely, the bank.

We hope to create a conversation about the bank through papers that explore questions concerning:

  • histories and futures of banking
  • the gendered, classed, and racialized dimensions of banking
  • banking, the state, and nation making
  • banking publics
  • banking and labor
  • unbanking and the unbanked
  • banking, formalization, and rationalization
  • trust, value, and temporality in banking
  • banking, subjectification, and sociality

Across the papers we ask what kinds of debates get played out through controversies and discussions over banking. We also reflect on methodological challenges of conducting ethnographic work on and within banks.

Discussant: Gustav Peebles (The New School). Organizers: Nishita Trisal (Michigan) and Soo-Young Kim (Princeton). Please send 250-word abstracts to and by March 27.





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