This week, I’m joined by Farzana, a friend and colleague of mine who, at the time of the interview, was conducting a research project about driving in Los Angeles. This is a unique episode, because Farzana mainly interviews me about the topic at hand. We talk about liminality (or the in-between places), the stresses of and issues with transportation and infrastructure in L.A., and my own journey from not only Wisconsin to Los Angeles, but from relying on my car to giving it up entirely.
Farzana is a community-based researcher who is interested in social harmony and rupture, reactions to heterogeneity, discourses of mass panic, and conflict resolution. Her most recent project is an ethnography of Los Angeles drivers, and through this she is learning about the quirks that characterize the lives of Los Angeles residents, the ways in which their relationships with driving define how they interact with the world, and their responses to anomalies that they encounter on and off the road.