BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

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Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject is a fine-grained account of the “neuro-” in a range of disciplines, and, importantly––crucially––, takes stock of the history and scope of this prefix.  But more than this the book is an exploration, a critical engagement with the surge of brain-centered approaches to behavior, to physiology, to mind, …

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Institutional Inconsistencies: The Case of “Transgender”

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The CDC’s recent attempt to dictate and regulate possibilities for funding and research included attention to broad swaths of people, including those deemed “vulnerable” and/or receiving “entitlements,” as well as anyone who might fall under the category of “diversity.” The inclusion of “fetus” and “transgender” alongside the other words on the list suggests a specific attack on gendered bodies: “fetus” …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum: Larisa Jašarević’s Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market

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In Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market: An Intimate Debt, Larisa Jašarević explores the mutual entanglement between the economy, living body and the good life in postsocialist and postwar Bosnia. Beautifully written and theoretically sophisticated, this ethnography is a key addition to scholarly literature on debt, moral economies, medical anthropology, and material bodies. We are pleased to …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Des Fitzgerald’s Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

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Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9).  This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated.  By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …

Books

Susanna Trnka’s One Blue Child: Asthma, Responsibility, and the Politics of Global Health

One Blue Child: Asthma, Responsibility, and the Politics of Global Health

By Susanna Trnka

Stanford University Press, 2017, 262 pages.

 

Bringing children to the field can change an anthropologist’s relationship to fieldwork immensely. For University of Auckland anthropologist, Susanna Trnka, bringing her children to the Czech Republic quickly became a confronting medical experience when her nine-year-old daughter suffered her …

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Blue binders of white donors: sorting race out in South African IVF

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Miracle babies. The microscopic enchantments of embryos. The image of a woman holding that much-desired infant. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is replete with awe-inducing imagery, often bordering on the near religious. Kylie, an embryologist I interviewed in Cape Town described the images of IVF as part of the inspiring stories that drew her into the field: “I watched a …