Here is the summary of work I undertook in 2017 and some updates on ongoing research. I am writing this summary while still being on maternity leave which also explains a slight slowdown of activity towards the end of the year.
This year started with teaching two newly designed modules – one that focuses on methodology and theory of research and another one, Urban Identities, that aims to bring together theories of place/space, identity and belonging. The task for 2018 - is to finally design Visual Sociology module which will reflect my long-standing interest in the subject. Researching the social through visual image and critical analysis of visual representations in general have been inspirational topics for me since university and something that led me to do a PhD. While my research into homes and material culture helped me to acquire and discover new ways of seeing it somewhat diverted me from my initial interest in visual sociology so I am very glad to finally return to familiar (and still a favourite) subject.
In terms of publications I was very pleased to see two edited volumes with my chapters in print:
(2017) National food, belonging, and identity among Russian-speaking migrants in the UK. In: Polese, A., Morris, J., Pawlusz, E. and Seliverstova, O. eds. Identity and Nation Building in Everyday Post-Socialist Life. Routledge, pp. 91-109. https://www.routledge.com/Identity-and-Nation-Building-in-Everyday-Post-Socialist-Life/Polese-Morris-Pawlusz-Seliverstova/p/book/9781138736412
(2017) Post-Soviet Russian-Speaking Migration to the UK: The Discourses of Visibility and Accountability, In: Nikolko M, Carment D. eds. Post-Soviet Migration and Diasporas: From Global Perspectives to Everyday Practices. Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-47773-2_3
Also my blog post on ethics of research for Research Ethics Monthly can be accessed here.
There were several academic events including my first ever (hard to believe but) presentation at the BSA in April talking about my new research project on AirBnb homes (slides can be accessed here).
Then in June I was delighted to take part in the ERC HomInG project workshop in Trento, Italy talking about researching migrants homes, and more specifically 'diasporic' objects (here is the link to the presentation recording).
I am planning to return to the BSA in 2018 to present a paper on researching identities through practices of home-making.
In terms of research activity, in 2017 together with photographer Ken Kajoranta I started new research project "Airbnb people and homes" which explores Airbnb hosts’ and tenants’ experiences and travel practices as well as material and sensory environments of homes, house rules, localities and belonging. We have conducted small-scale fieldwork which will resume in 2018 and will go along with the analysis of the data as well as gathering some thoughts on still relevant concept of 'feeling of being at home' for a journal article. As always a lot to get excited about.