The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories
Christopher M. Kelty
University of Chicago Press, 2020. 344 pages.
A book about participation? Chris Kelty’s delightful new book begins by giving voice to his audience’s likely incredulity. Mimicking the standard response to the project, he launches with the question, “Participation in what?” In everything and nothing, of course. He notes …
An Impossible Inheritance: Postcolonial Psychiatry and the Work of Memory in a West African Clinic
University of California Press, 2019. 288 pages.
Katie Kilroy-Marac begins An Impossible Inheritance with a curious epigraph: “The individual can be said to be ‘tangled up in stories’ which happen to him before any story is recounted.” This statement from Paul Ricoeur’s …
Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change
University of Minnesota Press, 2018. 236 pages.
Asthma is thought to affect an estimated 339 million people around the globe, with a prevalence rates as high as 20% of adults in some nations (Global Asthma Network 2018). It is one of the most common chronic conditions, impacting people across …
Sugar and Tension: Diabetes in Modern India
Lesley Jo Weaver
Rutgers University Press, 2019. 202 pages.
Sugar and Tension is a must-read for anyone interested in how social constructions of gender influence the physical and mental health of individuals living with diabetes. Lesley Jo Weaver, a biocultural medical anthropologist with degrees in global health and in medical anthropology, presents case …
Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life.
Ruha Benjamin, Ed.
Duke University Press, 2019. 416 pages.
“How might we craft a justice-oriented approach to
technoscience?” asks Ruha Benjamin in the introduction to Captivating
Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in
Everyday Life (11). This question is at the core of the book’s project,
knitting together …
Daniel Renfrew’s Life Without Lead: Contamination, Crisis, and Hope in Uruguay (2018) is a masterful undertaking on the anthropology of disaster and its everydayness. An ethnographic portrayal that is prismatic in its attention, the book combines numerous elements––place, civic performance, history, political economy––to bear on the lead poisoning epidemic in Montevideo, Uruguay at the turn of the 21st…