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Book Forum: Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life After NGOs

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Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life after NGOs (University of California Press, 2017) illuminates the myriad state and non-state actors collaborating on campaigns against “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in Ghana, where genital cutting was already on the decline. From a uniquely multi-scalar perspective, Hodžić reveals how cutting emerged as a problem to be shared by African …

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Elana D. Buch’s Inequalities of Aging: Paradoxes of Independence in American Home Care

Inequalities of Aging: Paradoxes of Independence In American Home Care

Elana D. Buch

New York University Press, 2018. 263 pages.

Elana Buch’s critical and thoughtful analysis of the American home care system highlights the ways in which older adults try to simultaneously maintain their independent identities and generate new relations with the home care workers who assist them with assigned …

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Jasbir Puar’s The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability

The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability

Jasbir Puar

Duke University Press, 2017. 296 pages.

 

Jasbir Puar’s second book, The Right to Maim, examines the relationship between life, debility, and death. On a spectrum between life and death, according to Puar, there is the production of the “living dead, death worlds, necropolitics, slow death, and life itself”—this is …

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Creating Bodies, Creating a Nation: How the Idea of the Straight, White, Muscular Male Body Shaped America

Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique

Rachel Louise Moran

 University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018. 224 pages.

 

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When Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010, it triggered a backlash by conservatives anxious about the so called “nanny state” interfering unduly in the private sphere. The campaign was a national initiative “dedicated

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Melinda Cooper’s Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism

Melinda Cooper

MIT Press, 2017, 416 pages.

 

Neoliberal policy in the United States sometimes seems internally contradictory.  Why oppose the estate tax if you support a meritocracy based on how the market values individuals?  Why oppose universal health coverage or public education if you want everyone to have an equal …

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Patient Zero and the Making of a Myth: History as an Archaeology of the Present

Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic

Richard A. McKay

University of Chicago Press, 2017, 400 pages

 

“An innocent he was not. He eventually told health investigators that during the 1970s he’d had some 2,500 sexual contacts with men in Europe, Canada, South America – and in the large centers of gay lifestyle in New York and California.