May 19, 2021 from 10am-12pm (MST)

A pandemic, an election, and a few survivalists. On the im/possibilities of ethnographic research in 2020.

In late 2019, I began a new research project, concerning survivalism in France and the USA. A few weeks later, the world experienced the growth of a global pandemic at an unprecedented scale – hindering global circulation and opportunities for interaction, as well as the prospect of ethnographic research itself. Preppers could no longer gather in person; rather – like everyone else, including the ethnographer – they had to use the internet to engage with one another, leading to new organizational dynamics and forms of political visibility. By focusing on digital discourse and its relation to real-world practice, this talk will describe how empirical challenges may lead, sometimes, to new analytical possibilities.



Dr. Sébastien Roux, sociologist and anthropologist, is a tenured researcher with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) at the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Solidarités, Sociétés, Territoires (University of Toulouse, EHESS).


He previously conducted ethnographic research on sex tourism, juvenile delinquency, and transnational adoption. He is starting a new research program on dystopian concerns and environmental anxieties in France and the USA, in partnership with iGLOBES.