Spatial Stories: Shared Questions


  • MATERIALITIES: How does this text/talk draw out the material features and infrastructures of place and space?

  • SCALES: How are space and place scaled in this text/talk? How are bodies cast and conceptualized?

  • ORGANIZATIONS: How does this text/talk describe the organization, meaning and valuation of space and place?

  • METHODOLOGIES: What methods, ethnographic and otherwise, are being used to work with and theorize space/place in this text/talk?

  • FRAMEWORKS: What theoretical/political/ethical frameworks are drawn on in this text/talk?

  • ENGAGEMENTS: Are there openings for collaboration? What (in)capacities exist for more collaborative research practices in this text/talk?

  • STORIES: What spatial stories does this text/talk animate and how are these stories cultivated?

  • KNOWLEDGES: What are the spatial knowledges embedded within or produced through the spaces and places in this text/talk?

  • PRACTICES: What are the spatial practices that (re)produce and (re)claim these spaces and places in this text/talk?

  • INFASTRUCTURES: What material and social infrastructures are vital to supporting the spaces and places in this text/talk?

  • TOXICITIES: How is toxicity at play across the problem spaces explored in this text/talk?

  • EDGES/HORIZONS: How does this text/talk depict and characterize the edges and horizons of spaces of concern?


Creative Commons Licence

Contributed date

May 23, 2020 - 9:05pm

Critical Commentary

Structured Analytics

In an effort to promote collaboration, PECE works with different analytics across various scales to develop a shared set of questionsfor people to think with and alongside each other. These sets of questions are developed in collaboration and are meant to be engaged across a variety of different works, settings, disciplines, etc. Placing these questions and responses in conversation with each other is meant to enrich our analysis and create a textured, multiperspective response to particular topics and themes. 

 Spatial Stories

We are inspired by a quote from geographer Doreen Massey: “Space, instead of being a flat surface, it’s more like a pincushion of a million stories.” 

If space is alive and inhabited by stories, this begs the question: how do we study it? How do we interpret space beyond its physicality? How can we understand space as social relations? As intimate and abstract? And as a container for “the myriad stories in which we are all living at any one moment”?

By centering space and place as critical fields of inquiry, we hope to rethink how space has been theorized within anthropology, as well as stimulate conversation about ways that theory and methods from critical cartography can be brought into our research practices. A spatial lens invites new ways of conceptualizing how space is constituted through movement, as well as new interventions for remapping how space and territory are imagined, remembered, and narrativized. 

Our shared interests: Collaboration ethics, methodologies, infrastructuring archives, transnational hyper-nationalist science, transient spaces, law shapes space and vice versa, landscapes, anticipatory space, (re)mapping, affect theory, psychogeography, urban studies, constructed environment programs, migration/refugees, war, trauma and traumatic spaces; monumentality; home, (IL)liberalism, space and religiosity, silence(s), archives, trace and space, feminist geography, social movements, critical organizing

Cite as

Spatial Stories Working Group, "Spatial Stories: Shared Questions ", contributed by Kaitlyn Rabach, Prerna Srigyan, Marwa Bakabas and Shahab Albahar, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 23 May 2020, accessed 28 November 2023.