Features

Life/NonLife: a forum

This Somatosphere forum features essays written in the wake of a debate held at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The debate was organized around the following motion: “Lacking empirical traction and heuristic power, the distinction between life and nonlife is one that anthropology needs to discard.” We hope …

Features

A forum on the Zika virus

Zika is in the air.

The beginning of 2016 has seen the world thrust into another global infectious disease crisis, fanned by the politics and fear of uncertainty and media speculation. Reports of the Zika virus outbreak emerged in late 2015, and have proliferated in early 2016. Most distressing have been the headlines, and associated images, possibly linking the virus …

Features

Bleach

My friend Dr. Muñoz makes his own bleach.  He uses salt, water, and electrodes to render sodium hypochlorite.  To do this, he has colonized a small space in a garage-cum-storage unit nestled on the grounds of the Managua health center where he works.  His bleach-making is ad-hoc and off the books.  Dr. Muñoz doesn’t get extra money or time from …